RWANDA: 5.4 Million to Vote in Grassroots Polls

Friday, January 7, 2011
Central Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has released tentative figures of registered voters who will cast their votes in forthcoming local leaders' elections, which indicate that, 5,417,886 people have so far been registered.

The elections are scheduled to take place between February and March and according to the Executive Secretary of NEC, Charles Munyaneza, the number is expected to either decrease or increase, after the updating of the lists.

"Looking at the voting population, the majority of voters are women who constitute 54.6 percent while men are 45.4 percent," said Munyaneza during a press conference.

The number of voters in the forthcoming elections has increased by about 300,000 people compared to the 5.1million who cast their votes in the August 2010 Presidential elections.

Munyaneza also gave details of the upcoming elections of local leaders and how they will be conducted saying that the posts to be occupied range from the village level to the districts.

"The first phase of elections will be held on February 6, and Rwandans will be electing their leaders at the village level (Umudugudu)," he said, adding that five people will be elected in each village and foreigners can take part in this phase of elections but cannot stand.

Those elected at the village level will also elect among themselves someone who will vie for a post on the Cell and Sector Advisory Councils.

"At the district level, those to be elected include the three administrative leaders among them, the Mayor and his or her two deputies, and members of the District Advisory Council," said Munyaneza.

He added that the same posts will be vied for at the Kigali City level.

Apart from the village elections which will be conducted by queuing, other elections will be conducted through the use of a secret ballot.

The local leaders' elections will be followed by those of special categories including representatives of the youth, women and the disabled who will be elected from the cell to the national level.