RWANDA

Summary of Upcoming Elections
PARLIAMENTARY
September 16, 2013

ELECTION ANALYSIS
The Rwandan Parliament is perhaps best known for its elevated levels of female representation compared to other governments in Africa and the world. In the 2008 legislative elections, women won 56% of seats in parliament.2 This has given the legislature a reputation as being a model for a progressive African political institution. This number is guaranteed to remain high through legal provisions, which state that 30% of all indirectly elected senators and at least 24 of the 80 members of the Chamber of Deputies must be female.3 This semblance of inclusiveness of Rwandan politics is also directed at youth, academics, political organizations and the disabled, all of whom are entitled to representation in parliament. The president must also appoint eight members to represent historically marginalized groups. The government plans to cover the full cost of the 2013 legislative elections – around 6 billion Rwandan francs, or 1.5 million USD – for the first time in the country’s history and “break out of the barrier of unnecessary conditions or external influences set by donors.”4 These “unnecessary conditions” may refer to the criticism that Paul Kagame and others in the government have received for perceived political repression, which has affected opposition parties and journalists in Rwanda (see Driving Issues).5 The last legislative elections featured no opposition party candidates at all, since the only two parties outside of the governing coalition also supported Kagame. The response from the government has been to the effect that foreigners cannot fully understand the fragility of Rwanda, and the history that has brought the country to this point.6 The economic progress that Rwanda has made since the genocide is considered by some as justification for the government’s totalitarian slant. The upcoming election may be a step towards a more competitive democracy, as parties like the Socialist Party Imbekuri run on platforms that oppose the current government.8

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Summary of Previous Elections Legislative Elections – September 15, 2008 Chamber of Deputies Population and number of registered voters: Total population: 10,942,950 (2011) Registered Voters: 4,769,228 Results: Party Front Patriotique Rwandais Parti Démocratique Chrétien Parti Démocratique Islamique Coalition Parti Socialiste Rwandais Parti de la Solidarité et du Progrès Parti du Progrès et de la Concorde Rwandais Parti Social Démocrate Parti Libéral 7 4 42 Number of Seats

Major Political Parties
Front Patriotique Rwandais (FPR) / Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) • • • Leadership: Paul Kagame (President) Founding date: December 1987 Platform: The RPF was formed in the lead up to the 1994 genocide9, evolving from the Rwandan Alliance for National Unity (RANU), a Tutsi party created with the objective of mobilizing Rwandans to fight against genocide ideology and repeated violence.10

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Parti Démocratique Idéal (PDI) / Ideal Democratic Party (previously Islamic Democratic Party)11 • • • Leadership: Sheikh Mussa Fazil Harerimana Founding date: 2003 Platform: Previously the Islamic Democratic Party, the PDI now campaigns on a platform of secular democratic ideals including pledges against corruption and genocide ideology and in favor of social welfare and equal representation.

Parti de la Solidarité et du Progrès (PSP) / Party for Prosperity and Solidarity13 • • • Leadership: Kanyange Phoeb Founding date: Not Available Platform: Not Available

Parti du Progrès et de la Concorde / Party for Progress and Concord14 • • • Leadership: Hon. Dr. Mukabaramba Alivera Founding date: June 22, 2003 Platform: The PPC’s motto is “Development, Concord and Rwandan’s welfare” . It aims to promote the living condition of Rwandan’s based on the “Education For All Policy” , fight for the establishment of an efficient wage policy. promote justice, gender equality and citizenship, sensitize Rwandans about work and base Rwandan economy and development on technology.

Parti Socialiste Rwandais (PSR) / Rwandan Socialist Party (Now split into PS-R and PS-I) 12 • • • Leadership: Hon. Rucibigango J. Baptiste Founding date: August 18, 1991 Platform: “Labor is the origin of anything good and of the value to which everybody aspires, being useful to him or her and to others. Work is also the basis for workers’ good living conditions, rights and power; The Justice, capacity and power of the majority of socialist ideas respectful of workers’ rights to which they aspire; Cooperation means workers’ grouping into Associations of the professions they do and into the Rwandese Labour Party (PSR), which defends their interests. The Rwandese Socialist Party, PSR, advocates African unity and Solidarity. ”

Union Démocratique du Peuple Rwandais (UDPR) / Democratic Union of the Rwandese People15 • • • Leadership: Not Available Founding date: Not Available Platform: Not Available

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Driving Issues
The RPF has been accused of systematic repression and violence against the opposition. The former leader of PS-Imberakuri, Bernard Ntaganda was charged with endangering state security and divisionism, based on his criticisms of the government. He is currently serving a four-year prison sentence. Eight members of the United Democratic Forces of Rwanda (FDU-Inkingi) were arrested in September 2012 and accused of holding illegal meetings. Also in September, Frank Habineza, leader of the Democratic Green Party, returned to the country having fled following the beheading of his deputy, André Kagwa Rwisereka, in the run up to the last presidential election. Victoire Ingabire, leader of the FDU-Inkingi party was found guilty of conspiracy to undermine the state after a questionable trial, and was sentenced to eight years in prison on October 30, 2012. The Green Party has not yet been granted authorization to hold its congress, which had been scheduled for November 2012.16 One policy success which may bode well for the incumbent government has been the community-based “Gacaca” courts, which were created to try genocide related cases and were closed in June 2012, after hearing almost two million cases.17 It may be the case that voters will look favorably at the government due to their perceived role in national reconciliation. Although the courts have generally had positive results, accusations of malpractice and corruption have surfaced as well.18 A possible rallying cry against the RPF is the crisis involving the M23 rebel movement in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) led by Congolese Tutsis, which is widely held to have been supported by the Kigali.19 The rebels have been accused of crimes against humanity and foreign donors have condemned Rwanda’s involvement. The United States has also called for Rwanda to stop its support.20 This turn of events has divided the Tutsi community in the DRC as well as in Rwanda.21

ENDNOTES
1 16 candidates are to be elected to the Senate to serve 8 year terms, and a further 8 are to be appointed by the President. 80 candidates are to be elected to the Chamber of Deputies (Chambre des Députés) to serve 5 year terms; 53 of these will be elected through a closed – proportional representation system, the other 27 are to be indirectly elected by special interest groups. 2 “A revolution in rights for women, ” retrieved 3/28/13, www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/28/womens-rightsrwanda 3 IEFS Election Guide, retrieved 3/28/13, www.electionguide.org/election.php?ID=1418 4 “Imbekuri Rules Out Coalition with RPF” , retrieved 3/28/13, www.allafrica.com/stories/201301081367 .html? viewall=1 5 “What does Kagame’s Election Win mean for Rwanda?” retrieved on 3/28/13, www.reuters.com/ article/ 2010/08/10/us-rwanda-election-snapanalysis-

7 “Redeemer or Ruthless Dictator?” retrieved on 3/28/13 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/ africaandindianocean/rwanda/7900680/ Paul-Kagame-Rwandas-redeemer-or-ruthlessdictator.html 8 “Imbekuri Rules Out Coalition with RPF”

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9 “How the Genocide Happened” , retrieved 3/27/13, http:// www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13431486 10 http://www.rwandahope.com/RPFhistory.pdf, retrieved on 04/23/2013 11 http://www.pdi-rwanda.org/, retrieved on 04/23/2013 12 http://psr-rwanda.org/, retrieved 04/23/2013 13 http://psp-rwanda.org/, retrieved 04/23/2013 14 http://www.ppc-rwanda.org/spip.php?article20, retrieved 04/23/2013 15 http://www.udpr-rwanda.org/spip.php?article29, retrieved 04/23/2013 16 Human Rights Watch Report 2013, http://www.hrw.org/ world-report/2013/country-chapters/rwanda?page=3 17 Human Rights Watch Report 2013, http://www.hrw.org/ world-report/2013/country-chapters/rwanda?page=3 18 Human Rights Watch Report 2012, http://www.hrw.org/ world-report-2012/world-report-2012-rwanda 19 Ibid 20 “Obama urges Rwandan president to stop support for M23 rebels in Congo” , retrieved 3/27/2013, http://www. guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/19/obama-rwanda-support-congo-rebels 21 Ibid

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