The Presidential Decree, issued on December 11, 2023, stipulates that the elections for the President of the Republic and Members of Parliament will take place on July 15, 2024, with voting for Rwandans residing outside the country scheduled for July 14. The decision to consolidate these elections was driven by the aim to mitigate the substantial costs associated with conducting them individually.
Charles Munyaneza, the Executive Secretary of NEC, revealed during an interview on December 17, 2023, that direct elections involving the entire citizenry had previously surpassed Rwf7 billion in expenses. Munyaneza emphasized that holding separate elections in consecutive years resulted in higher costs, citing the example of the direct presidential election exceeding Rwf7 billion.
He explained that combining the elections for President and Deputies would result in a budget just over half of what would be incurred if the elections were held in separate years. Munyaneza projected a cost of Rwf7.2 billion for Deputies if held in one year and a similar amount for the presidential election the following year, totaling Rwf14 billion. However, the combined elections are estimated to cost Rwf8.1 billion, leading to potential savings of up to Rwf5 billion for the country.
Munyaneza clarified that the budget does not account for foreign aid and highlighted that the funds saved could be utilized in other areas of national development. He pointed out that the consolidation would streamline various aspects such as voting materials, civic education, and campaigning, thereby reducing overall expenditures.
To ensure the efficiency of the electoral process, NEC plans to increase the number of volunteers to 70,000. Munyaneza shared that based on the latest electoral roll figures, approximately 8.7 million Rwandans are expected to vote, with over 7 million eligible for candidacy.
The campaign period for the presidential and parliamentary elections is set to commence on June 22, 2024, and conclude on July 12, 2024, for those outside Rwanda and on July 13 within the country.
The upcoming elections mark the fourth time Rwanda has held presidential elections since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The last presidential elections occurred on August 3 and 4, 2017, while parliamentary elections took place on September 2 and 3, 2018.