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DGPR has Submitted Demands for Political and Electoral Reforms to the Rwandan Prime Minister

DGPR Barner
DGPR Barner

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has today, the 19th of April 2016, submitted its demands to the Rwandan Prime Minister, calling for reforms in the national election laws and the political parties Act.

This request follows a previous petition submitted to the Rwandan Parliament on 10th February 2016, calling for political and electoral reforms.  However, the party was advised by the Deputy Speaker on 10th March 2016, to either find an MP to table the matter in Parliament or request the cabinet to do so as stipulated in Article 88 of the Rwandan Constitution.

DGPR approached some MPs but none accepted to take this forward, therefore, a resolve to request the Rwandan Prime Minister as head of Government business, to find an appropriate solution on this important matter before the upcoming Presidential election.

DGPR had also written to the National Electoral Commission on 2nd December 2014 and received a response on 10th December 2014, which did not address all the party’s concerns.

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has requested the Rwandan Prime Minister to address the following issues:

  1. DGPR requests that a law be enacted to prohibit all elected officials holding public offices, becoming Chairpersons of political organizations at provincial, district, sector and other local levels of administration. 
  2. DGPR requests a revision on the law governing independent candidates. We find it unfair for an independent candidate to be judged on the same 5 percent threshold like political parties. We suggest that such a threshold be not more than 2 percent.
  3. DGPR requests the revision of parties’ election threshold for entering the Rwandan parliament to be reduced from 5 percent to 4 percent.
  4. DGPR requests the introduction of an electronic voting system that equally uses ballot papers. We encourage the use of ICT in the electoral process, as it promotes voter’s confidence.
  5. DGPR requests that media organizations be allowed to announce election results after being declared by poll officials at all polling stations and tallying centers.
  6.  DGPR requests that Election observers be allowed to monitor elections in all poling and tallying centers at Village, Cell, Sector and District levels. This will promote more transparency and help in increasing the trust we have in the National Electoral Commission.
  7. DGPR also requests that all Political Parties be represented in the National Electoral Commission.
  8. DGPR requests that the election law be revised for political parties to receive campaign support from the state in advance, instead of being reimbursed after getting the 5 percent of the national vote after the elections. Political Parties in Burkina Faso receive campaign support in advance and this can be a good example for Rwanda. This change will allow all political parties to be on a level playing field.
  9. DGPR requests that the political parties law of 12/07/2013 be revised, especially in its article 24, where it prohibits political parties to accept donations from foreign organizations.
  10. DGPR requests that the law be revised and conditions be put on foreign support, such as declarations of the source of funding and provision of reports to the concerned Government bodies. The good example is Uganda, where political parties can receive foreign support but declare its source and give reports to the Government. There is also a limit on what a single donor can give to the political party in a given year in Uganda.

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, believes that a positive reaction from the Rwandan Prime Minister will lay a strong foundation for democracy and will allow all political parties have a level playing field before the upcoming general elections.

 

Done at Kigali, 19th April 2016.

 

Dr.Frank HABINEZA

President, DGPR

DGPR Barner