The New Times (Kigali)
26 September 2008
Posted to the web 26 September 2008
The Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) has expressed discontent over the post-election report published by Ligue de Droit des personnes du Grand Lacs (LDGL), a human rights watchdog.
The development unfolded after the NEC boss, Prof. Chrysologue Karangwa recently promised to expose the misdeeds that characterised the watchdog's activities during the elections.
LDGL was among the various observers who turned up for the just-concluded parliamentary elections and in their report; they claimed they were all marred by inconsistencies.
"I have here with me the evidence to refute all that was said by LDGL, especially where they claimed that we did not accredit the observers to cover the whole country," charged Karangwa at a function to officially announce the final results of the polls.
He said that there was a form filled by all observers and each was requested to fill in the area he or she would like to observe.
"There was also a provision for those who wanted to observe in the whole country and everyone who requested that was accredited to do so, and I have the forms filled by LDGL observers for those who want to see it," he added.
"It is like these people came having preconceived ideologies how can they say that all the elections were flawed we have received over 200 observer reports but it is with only this one that we have a problem," Karangwa wondered.
He said that all the reports had good things to note and recommendations that will help the NEC prepare better polls in the future, saying that all LDGL did was to criticise the entire process.
He revealed that the LDGL official who was on the ground during the elections told him that they had drafted a report but everything was changed when the watchdog's president, a Congolese, saw it.
Meanwhile, Karangwa said that there was no complaint from any candidate, and according to the law, NEC will be receiving no petitions.
"The parties and candidates who contested were all happy with the general outcome of the results," said Karangwa.
The elections that took place during the course of last week saw 80 members of parliament elected both through direct and indirect elections.
Several international observers including those from the European Community said the polls were well prepared and were characterised by calm, and the turn up which was 98 percent, was impressive.
The direct general elections took place in the whole country on September 15 and through this 53 members were elected from political organisations that included a coalition of political parties that brought together the Rwanda Patriotic Front and six other parties, while the other contestants were the Socio-Democratic Party (PSD), the Liberal Party (PL) and one independent candidate, Jean Marie Vianney Harelimana.
During the elections, the RPF-led coalition pooled majority votes with 78 percent which gave it 42 out of the 53 seats, while the runners-up PSD, with 13 percent got seven seats.
PL got four seats for the seven percent votes they got. The indirect elections which were held by electoral colleges involved voting for 24 women representatives, two youths and one representative for persons with disabilities.
What remains now is the swearing-in ceremony which according to Karangwa is supposed to be organised by the State.
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