Rwanda’s National Electoral Commission reaffirms its autonomy ahead of 2024 elections

By Esther Muhozi
On 17 May 2024 at 12:31

The Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission, Oda Gasinzigwa, has stated that the Commission is autonomous but insisted that it follows the law.

This was highlighted on May 16, 2024, during a press briefing held by the Commission regarding the preparations for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for July 2024.

When asked by journalists about concerns that electoral commissions in various African countries lack independence, Oda Gasinzigwa asserted that the National Electoral Commission of Rwanda is independent and that all its activities are based on legal principles.

She said, “The National Electoral Commission is independent because it operates within the law and is not dictated by anyone else. Our responsibilities include providing equal rights and receiving feedback, but we do so within the framework of legal provisions.”

The Executive Secretary of NEC, Munyaneza Charles, emphasized that the Commission’s independence is evident in their daily operations, but this does not mean it operates in isolation.

He stated, “The Commission is independent but not isolated. We are independent but collaborate with others because we are a government institution, and our independence is demonstrated in what we do.”

NEC announced that from May 17 to May 30, 2024, candidate submissions will be accepted, with the final approved list of candidates to be announced on June 14, 2024. The campaigning period will run from June 22 to July 13, 2024.

It is also scheduled that on June 29, 2024, the final voters’ list will be published, with elections for Rwandans living abroad to be held on July 14, 2024, and domestic elections on July 15, 2024.

The Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission, Oda Gasinzigwa, stated that the Commission is independent and does not receive directives from anyone.
The Executive Secretary of NEC, Munyaneza Charles, pointed out that the commission's independence depends on its daily activities but does not make it above the law.