RPF in landslide parliamentary victory

The Governing Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) has maintained its grip on political power by winning 40 out of 57 parliamentary seats contested for by political parties in the just- ended legislative elections, official results declared by the country’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) showed.

 

The result, however, fell short by one of the 41 seats the governing party held in the outgoing Parliament.

 

The victory margin of the RPF in the elections, 75.47 per cent, is lower than the 98.63 per cent President Paul Kagame secured in last year’s presidential polls.

 

The largest opposition party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), won five seats representing 9.43 per cent of the votes.

 

Other parties in the contest, the Liberal Party, (LP), garnered four seats representing 7.54 per cent, leaving the Democratic Green Party (DGP) and the Social Party (SP) Imberakuri to manage two seats each representing 7.54 per cent combined.

 

This is the first time the Green and Social Parties, registered in 2010, and is being represented in Parliament.

 

None of the four independent candidates could win a seat in the elections which registered 521 candidates; the highest in the country’s parliamentary electoral history.

 

Twenty-seven other members – 24 women, two youth and one person with disability – were also elected by a special electoral college into the law making House, bringing the number of the country’s lawmakers to 80.

 

With 49 of the 80 members being women, representing 61 per cent, Rwanda maintained its position as the country with the highest proportion of female lawmakers.

 

The votes took place across 2,471 polling centres in the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western provinces of the country and in countries where Rwanda has diplomatic missions where peace and tranquility was the order of the day.

 

Largely peaceful and incident free, 7,172,612 Rwandans registered for the elections.

 

The election was the fourth since the country overcame a bloody genocide which claimed at least 800,000 lives in 100 days in the year 1994.

 

The RPF has been at the helm of affairs of the Central African country since the end of the deadly genocide.

 

Mr. Frank Habineza, one of the newly elected lawmakers on the ticket of the Green Party described their entrance into the legislature as a “positive step forward” the party and the country’s democracy.

 FROM JULIUS YAO PETETSI, KIGALI, RWANDA

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