Rwanda has begun selecting nine delegates to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), with the National Electoral Commission receiving applications from aspirants for slots representing the youth, women and people with disabilities.
Special interest groups were to submit names of their representatives to parliament by April 28, while political parties have up to May 15 to name their nominees.
Women candidates will be chosen by the executive committee of the National Women’s Council at the district level, and representatives of national women’s associations and co-operatives with legal status, a directive issued by Charles Munyaneza, the NEC executive secretary, states.
The executive committees of the National Youth Council and the National Council of Persons with Disabilities at the district level will select their representatives.
Details of all candidates from political parties and special interest groups will be submitted to parliament on May 17.
Only three parties, the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), the Social Democratic Party of Rwanda (PSD) and the Parti Libéral (PL) were asked to front candidates.
The RPF, which is entitled to four seats, will submit eight candidates while PL and PSD will present two names each, among whom one candidate representing each party will be selected.
“We will choose our candidates before the May 15 deadline set by the Electoral Commission,” said Donatille Mukabalisa, the chair of PL and Speaker of the Rwandan parliament.
Vincent Biruta, the PSD chair, said his party will hold a meeting to nominate candidates.
Of the nine current Rwandan EALA members, five have served two terms and are not eligible for re-election.
These are James Ndahiro, Patricia Hajabakiga, Straton Ndikuryayo, Valerie Nyirahabineza, and Odette Nyiramilimo.
Those eligible for re-election are Martin Ngoga, Oda Gasinzigwa, Pierre Rwigema and Francois Kalinda.