Appetite to serve as a member of parliament in Rwanda has increased according to the final list of candidates that was released by Rwanda National Electoral Commission (NEC) – August 7.
The fourth parliament in its lower chamber will be elected between Sept 2 and 3.
NEC’s list includes 539 aspirants and 521 confirmed candidates compared to 441 aspirants with 410 confirmed during the election of the outgoing parliament.
This represents a general increase of 22% in terms of aspirants and 27% increase when you consider the confirmed candidates.
The number of female MPs is the highest; currently, they represent 60% of the total candidates compared to 50% in the outgoing parliament.
In our previous reporting, NEC vice-chairperson Rosalie Mukamazera said that the participation of women in the voting and application for parliamentary seats was an indication that women now know the importance of leadership roles.
“We found out the actually most women applicants have very good education background. This shows that the pillar of gender equity is strong in our society,” Mukamazera said.
The final list of candidates also include four independent candidates including the last presidential candidate Philippe Mpayimana, Ally Husseine Sebagenzi, Janvier Nsengiyumva and Elissam Salim Ntibanyendera.
As far as parties are concerned, the Liberal Party (PL) and the ruling party-Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Inkotanyi retained the highest numbers of confirmed candidates with 80 each on the final line-up.
First timers political parties in the parliamentary race- Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR) –“Green Party” and PS Imberakuri- also will have 32 candidates and 45 respectively.
The NEC Chairman said that the campaign rules will stay as before but said a slight change was made.
“This time, the candidates will not be obliged to apply to the commission to run their campaign adverts on the public broadcaster as previously. They will only deal with the national broadcaster and we (NEC) shall just monitor their ads,” Prof. Mbanda said.
NEC has registered 7.174.188 voters for the September 2018 elections.