NEC unveils roadmap for 2024 elections in Eastern Province

On 31 January 2024 at 10:57

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has unveiled a roadmap for the 2024 presidential and parliamentary elections in Eastern Province, collaborating with partners in the planning and management process. The schedule encompasses crucial activities such as voter registration, candidate nominations, and campaign periods.

In February 2023, NEC evaluated the performance of 17,617 election volunteers for Eastern Province appointments. During this assessment, they identified volunteers who had resigned and those requiring replacement, receiving a total of 1,193 replacement requests.

Frank Kayiranga Rwigamba, the coordinator of the National Electoral Commission in Eastern Province, has reported that out of 619 polling sites, 615 were inspected to ensure compliance with election administration standards. Objectives included assessing road accessibility, electricity availability, and essential facilities like latrines, ladies’ rooms, and water access for individuals with disabilities.

The roadmap also highlighted that 474 election sites were connected to electricity, while 145 were not. Only one site lacked road access, and all 619 had access to latrines. Additionally, 587 out of the 618 election sites provided water access for disabled individuals, underlining the commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in the electoral process.

Kayiranga mentioned that there are 539 available ladies’ rooms, with 76 still needed. He emphasized the significance of ladies’ rooms at voting sites for accommodating breastfeeding mothers and ensuring their participation in the electoral process. Efforts are underway to add more voting sites to the list, particularly schools with mothers’ rooms.

The NEC has identified a need for intensified efforts in voter registration and civic education to ensure the inclusion of all eligible voters in the electoral process. From June 13 to July 30, the electoral commission will be receiving and reviewing candidates’ nominations, along with their representatives at voting sites, and preparing campaigning venues for candidates.

Kayiranga urged officials to expedite the provision of identification documents, including IDs and substitutes for those lacking them, for citizens to use in the elections. He stressed the importance of ensuring that all eligible voters have access to identification documents to exercise their right to vote.

Additionally, Kayiranga highlighted the need for effective communication and coordination among officials to ensure a smooth and transparent electoral process. The electoral commission plans to organize voter education programs to inform citizens about their rights and responsibilities during the upcoming elections.

Notably, the 2017 Eastern Province voter list had over 1.6 million voters, while the 2022 voter list for local mediators had over 2 million voters, representing a difference of over 370,000 new voters aged 18. Nyagatare District recorded the highest increase in eligible voter registration, with over 75,000 new voters registered.