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DGPR Calls for Political and Electoral Reforms from the Rwandan Parliament

Petition Presented to the Rwandan ParlianmentThe Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has today, the 10th of February 2016, submitted its petition to the Rwandan Parliament, calling for revisions in the national election laws and the political parties Act. These political reforms are needed before the 2017 Presidential Elections and the 2018 Parliamentary elections and would enable a level playing field. 

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda made the following demands from the Rwandan Parliament:

  1. DGPR requests that a law be enacted to prohibit all elected officials holding public offices, becoming Chairpersons of political organizations at provincial, district, sector and other local levels of administration.
  2. DGPR requests a revision on the law governing independent candidates. We find it unfair for an independent candidate to be judged on the same 5 percent threshold like political parties. We suggest that such a threshold be not more than 2 percent.
  3. DGPR requests the revision of parties’ election threshold for entering the Rwandan parliament to be reduced from 5 percent to 4 percent.
  4. DGPR requests the introduction of an electronic voting system that equally uses ballot papers. We encourage the use of ICT in the electoral process, as it promotes voter’s confidence.
  5. DGPR requests that media organizations be allowed to announce election results after being declared by poll officials at all polling stations and tallying centers.
  6. DGPR requests that Election observers be allowed to monitor elections in all poling and tallying centers at Village, Cell, Sector and District levels. This will promote more transparency and help in increasing the trust we have in the National Electoral Commission.
  7. DGPR also requests that all Political Parties be represented in the National Electoral Commission.
  8. DGPR requests that the election law be revised for political parties to receive campaign support from the state in advance, instead of being reimbursed after getting the 5 percent of the national vote after the elections. Political Parties in Burkina Faso receive campaign support in advance and this can be a good example for Rwanda. This change will allow all political parties to be on a level playing field.
  9. DGPR requests that the political parties law of 12/07/2013 be revised, especially in its article 24, where it prohibits political parties to accept donations from foreign organizations.

DGPR requests that the law be revised and conditions be put on foreign support, such as declarations of the source of funding and provision of reports to the concerned Government bodies. The good example is Uganda, where political parties can receive foreign support but declare its source and give reports to the Government. There is also a limit on what a single donor can give to the political party in a given year in Uganda.

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, believes that a positive reaction from the Rwandan Parliament will lay a strong foundation for democracy and will allow all political parties have a level playing field before the upcoming general elections. 

Kigali, 10th February 2016.
President, DGPR


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