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New political party formed to challenge Rwanda’s democracy

APA-Kigali (Rwanda) The newly formed Democratic Green Party of Rwanda is threatening to challenge Rwanda’s democracy which describes as not allowing political pluralism but operating a directed political activity.

The interim President of the DGPR Frank Habineza flanked by the party’s Secretary General told APA in Kigali on Friday that there had been lack of democracy in Rwanda since monarchical time and the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) was only blind-folding the world with imaginary multi-party politics when in reality it was a single party taking decisions and others follow.

“RPF wants all the 10 million Rwandans to be members but if that is the trend then we are living a worse political situation than we found. Everything in Rwanda needs to change for the sake of democracy, the institutions need to work independent of the government and political parties need to have sound voices like other democracies,” said Muganwa.

He said Rwanda’s political parties were silent not because they agreed with all that the government does but that they were working under fear created by the government, noting that the constitution and electoral laws have been manipulated to serve RPF’s interests which were not necessarily in the public interest.

“RPF has manipulated all the laws to its advantage, the constitution is changed without any consultations, there is no functioning civil society, no press freedom not even freedom of association. Why would the world be blind-folded to believe the country is democratic ?” they wondered.

The party whose activities were launched on Friday seeks reforms in the constitution, and electoral law without which the members threaten to boycott the 2010 presidential elections

They believe the party will rid Rwandans of the blanket of fear which they attribute to ‘the historical rule of terror’.

They said the party would field a candidate for the presidential race if only the constitution and electoral laws were changed, adding that the electoral process was all faulty from registration to vote counting which provided room for vote rigging.

“Why hold expensive electoral processes when the winner is known before elections ? Its only months to the presidential elections but no one has declared their candidature, no one is allowed to campaign because the constitution was manipulated. Our party would not be involved in such an exercise that deprives our members of their democratic rights,” Habineza noted.

They however appreciated some achievements by the ruling party, noting the ending of the genocide, improved security and some orderliness in the country which they however say are over-shadowed by bad politics and a failing democracy.

“Without democracy, no economic development can be attained,” they said.

Rwanda has about ten political parties, six of them recently formed a coalition with the ruling RPF. Therefore, only two can be regarded as real opposition and another two are not yet allowed to operate.

BB/daj/APA

2009-08-14

Source APA