Key updates for July 2024 presidential and parliamentary polls

By Esther Muhozi
On 17 May 2024 at 12:57

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has announced ongoing improvements in preparations for the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections set for July 2024.

Oda Gasinzigwa ,NEC Chairperson, stated that significant efforts have been made to enhance election preparations, including the consolidation of the elections, revision of the election law, and creation of a Presidential decree regulating the elections.

She highlighted that after updating the law and the voter list, it was found that nearly two million young people will be voting for the first time.

Currently, the total number of voters stands at 9.5 million, with over 53,000 Rwandans living abroad. The process of correcting the voter list is still ongoing.

This is a combined election where Rwandans will vote for the President and 54 Deputies from political parties or independent candidates, with additional Deputies coming from special categories.

The number of independent candidates has increased

The NEC has announced that there has been an increase in the number of independent candidates as it has now received nominations for the position of President of the Republic and candidates for the position of 41 MPs.

They are currently seeking signatures where their applications will be accepted from May 17, 2024 to May 30, 2024, to be considered eligible.

Candidates are requested to abide by the rules and regulations and avoid any disqualification.

Requirements for the person who wants to be a candidate

Legal Commissioner Judith Mbabazi outlined the legal requirements for the various positions.

She pointed out that for the position of the Head of the Nation, he is required to have Rwandan nationality by origin, to have no other nationality, to be morally sound, and not to be deprived of his civil and political rights by the courts.

The aspirant is required to be at least 35 years of age, he must be in Rwanda at the time of his candidacy and for MPs, he is required to be 21 years of age and have citizenship.

Polling stations

The NEC states that more than 17,000 polling stations have been prepared across the country because it is hoped that at least 500 people will vote in each station.

Another thing that goes with the polling room is the equipment that will be included, which is two boxes in each room.

Reviewing the Voters List is ongoing

While the National Electoral Commission states that 9.5 million people have already registered to vote, it states that the process of correcting the voter list using technology is ongoing.

This system is designed to help people check if they are on the voter list, move based on their location and make general corrections by dialing *169#.

In terms of technology, observers have also started applying to monitor the elections and now it has been made easier so that applicants are allowed without having to come to Rwanda, but everything is done online.

Dissolution of the House of Representatives

The Constitution stipulates when the House of Representatives can be dissolved for electoral reasons, but due to changes that led to combined elections, the statutory period was ignored as their term expired last year.

The NEC states that during the transitional period, the law shows that the members of parliament who are present at the end of their term, continue to lead until the assembly is dissolved for electoral reasons.

Due to the fact that the elections were combined this year, the dissolution of the assembly will depend on the term of the President of the Republic when it ends.

Important dates for elections

NEC announces that from May 17 to May 30, 2024, it will be receiving candidates’ applications. Their confirmation will be announced on June 14, 2024, and on June 22 - July 13, 2024 campaign activities will begin.

It is planned that on June 29, 2024 the list of voters will be published, on July 14 there will be elections for Rwandans living abroad and on July 15, 2024, there will be elections inside the country.

On July 16, 2024, elections are scheduled for 24 women deputies, two representing youth and one deputy representing people with disabilities.

It is planned that by July 20, 2024, the provisional results of the elections will be announced, while the results of the elections should be announced by July 27.

NEC Chairperson, Oda Gasinzigwa pointed that preparations are going well.
NEC Executive Secretary, Charles Munyaneza expressed his hope that the elections will go smoothly.
The Legal Commissioner at NEC, pointed out that laws must be respected during campaign activities.