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Democratic Green Party of Rwanda’s achievements and challenges during 2016.

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, takes on this opportunity to thank all party members and all well-wishers for the great accomplishments actualized during 2016. We look forward to greater achievements in 2017.

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda established more structures on district level in different provinces and consolidated its membership base throughout the country.  DGPR currently has party structures in 18 out of 30 districts in Rwanda. The party plans to cover all the remaining districts by August 2017.

In preparations for the upcoming August 2017 Presidential elections, the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, submitted a petition to the Rwandan Parliament on 10th February 2016, calling for revisions in the national election laws and the political parties Act.

The following demands were made:

  1. Enactment of a law prohibiting all elected officials holding public offices from becoming Chairpersons of political organizations at provincial, district, sector and other local levels of administration.  
  2. A revision on the law governing independent candidates, so that an independent candidate is not judged on the same 5 percent threshold as political parties. The new proposed threshold for independent candidates be not more than 2 percent.
  3. A revision of political parties’ election threshold for entering the Rwandan parliament from 5 percent to 4 percent.
  4. Introduction of an electronic voting system that equally uses ballot papers and the use of ICT in the electoral process.
  5. Granting media organizations authority to immediately announce election results after being declared by poll officials at different polling stations and tallying centers.
  6.  Allowing election observers to monitor elections in all polling and tallying centers at Village, Cell, Sector and District levels. This would promote more transparency and trust in the National Electoral Commission.
  7. Representation of all registered Political Parties in the National Electoral Commission, this would allow DGPR to be represented in the electoral commission, in the same way other parties are represented.
  8. Revision of the electoral law to enable political parties, receive campaign support from the state in advance, instead of being reimbursed after winning the elections.
  9. Revision of political parties’ law of 12/07/2013, especially in its article 24, where it prohibits political parties to accept donations from foreign organizations and instead, set up conditions for declaring the source of funding and provision of reports to the concerned Government bodies.

Government Response

On 10th March 2016, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, met with DGPR leaders and advised them to either find an MP to table the demands in the Parliament or request the cabinet to do so. DGPR later, submitted the same petition to the Prime Minister of Rwanda on 19th April 2016, in order for the cabinet to forward these reforms to Parliament.

On 31st August 2016, DGPR received a response from Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), the authority in charge of political organisations and classified the demands as individual opinions without substantive evidence to change the policy.

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, took another step forward and submitted a request to the National Consultative Forum of Political Organisations in Rwanda on 23rd September, for consultations on political reforms and campaign financing.  On 29th September 2016, the Political Parties Forum, responded unfavourably. This sealed off all hope for political and electoral reforms before the upcoming elections.

The requested reforms were meant for strengthening democracy and allowing all political parties to have a level playing field before the August 2017 Presidential elections.

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda did not lose focus and morale, it went ahead and confirmed its participation in the upcoming presidential elections by nominating a presidential candidate on 17th December 2016.

Call for action on pending dossiers:

The Party’s Ex-National Organising Secretary, Jean Damascene MUNYESHYAKA, who went missing on 27th June 2014 in Nyamata town, Bugesera District, has neither been seen alive or dead. DGPR requested the National Public Prosecution Authority on 20th October 2015, to take over the dossier from the National Police but until now, no response has been received. We call upon all the concerned authorities to finalise those investigations and let the public know whether, Mr. Jean Damascene Munyeshyaka is still alive or already dead.

The dossier of our former First Vice President, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, who was gruesomely murdered in July 2010, has not been finalised. We call upon all concerned authorities to expedite those investigations and bring the culprits to justice.

Looking ahead to 2017.

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, has started preparations for the August 2017 presidential elections. We know this is a very big responsibility and would like to call upon all concerned authorities to ensure security and a peaceful atmosphere before, during the presidential campaigns and after the elections.

On behalf of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, we wish to thank you all for supporting the democracy cause in Rwanda.

Please accept our best wishes to you and your families for a wonderful holiday season and a very prosperous new year.

 

Done on 31st December 2016

Dr.Frank Habineza

 President, Democratic Green Party of Rwanda