Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rwanda: UDF-Inkingi requests a copy of the drafted Electoral Code

By UDF-Inkingi
Information Desk


Photo:
National Electoral Commission HQs, Kigali.

Independent or partisan?

In a letter sent by UDF-Inkingi Secretary General Dr Jean-Baptiste MBERABAHIZI to Prof. Chrysologue KARANGWA, Chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Rwanda’s main opposition group operating in exile so far, is requesting a copy of the Draft of the Electoral Code prepared by the body he chairs together with Swiss law expert Prof. George LUTZ.

“On September 28, 2009, the Policy Council which is its governing body, resolved that UDF-Inkingi alone, or in alliance with other political parties, will take part in the presidential elections scheduled for August 2010 by fielding a candidate for the post of President”, UDF-Inkingi Secretary General writes to NEC boss.

He further explains that”in view of the above decision, the Policy Council instructed the Executive Committee to implement it and make sure that UDF-Inkingi fulfils all legal requirements, including those governing elections”.

“UDF-Inkingi is informed that the drafted Electoral Code comprised of 223 articles, which once enacted into law, is likely to be the law that will govern next year’s presidential elections”, the letter reads.

Last April 20, 2009, the NEC organized a meeting at Kigali Serena Hotel with the Forum of Political Parties, a grouping of registered political organizations in Rwanda led by RPF Secretary General François NGARAMBE, an exercise confirming the launching of its public consultations to seek views of different interested stakeholders.

“Rwandans forming the United Democratic Forces, as one of interested parties, request your Commission to avail us with the drafted Electoral Code so that we make a contribution towards that law”, UDF-Inkingi leader tells NEC Chairman Prof. Chrysologue KARANGWA.

In a Town Hall Meeting attended by 350 Rwandans in Brussels, Belgium on Labour Day last Friday, UDF-Inkingi Chairperson Mrs Victoire INGABIRE UMUHOZA and Dr Jean-Baptiste MBERABAHIZI confirmed that they are finalizing their preparations in view of the opposition group’s participation to the forthcoming presidential race.

Critics question NEC independence as well as its positive response to UDF-Inkingi’s request recalling that NEC Chairman is a member of the ruling RPF party’s National Executive Committee.

Asked whether they are optimistic, UDF-Inkingi leaders say it is up to the RPF leaders to stick to the law and give all Rwandans from all venues an opportunity to contribute to the process if they really want the next presidential race to be free and fair.

Analysts say UDF-Inkingi leaders refusal to make the establishment of an Independent Electoral Commission a pre-requisite for their participation to the planned presidential elections show the opposition group's high commitment to constitutionalism and peaceful resolution of political disputes.

Related Materials:
Rwanda: National Electoral Commission (NEC) and Parties draft new Electoral Code

1 Comments:

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