The New Times (Kigali)
23 September 2008
Posted to the web 23 September 2008
The Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Prof. Chrysologue Karangwa has said that he will soon expose LDGL, a regional 'human rights watchdog' which claimed that the recently concluded parliamentary polls were marred by inconsistencies.
In their declaration after the elections, LDGL said that the consolidation of votes from the districts to the NEC Headquarters was unclear.
"There is a problem with these people (LDGL). I have been hearing their reports but I will provide an elaborate answer to their queries we consolidated the electoral results through an established ICT system," Karangwa said yesterday when announcing the provisional general outcome of the elections.
He said that the official results of the elections will be announced on September 25, the time when he said he would 'expose' the problem with LDGL, which was one of the many observer groups during the elections.
"The time we did this, these people were asleep we worked the whole night with the aim of having Rwandans know the outcome of the polls within the shortest time possible," the NEC boss said.
On the charges that some of the LDGL observers were barred from doing their work on the Election Day, Karangwa said that everything was clear in the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between NEC and LDGL before they accredited their officials.
"They brought a list of their agents and we accredited them according to the specific places where they would be posted they changed the arrangements for purposes known only to themselves," he said.
Reacting to reports that Jean Marie Vianney Harerimana, the independent candidate who complained about the outcome of the vote through media, Karangwa said that it was common for a person who has lost to cry foul.
"Actually, I would say that this man won given the number of votes he garnered and his efforts during campaigns. He never campaigned from anywhere and he did not use the airtime that was provided by public media outlets as other candidates did," he pointed out.
Harerimana was the only person to stand on an individual ticket and he got 0.5 percent which was not enough to take him to parliament. It required him to win 5 percent of the total vote.
Meanwhile, Karangwa attributed the low turn-up of voters in the Diaspora to lack of time. The total percentage of registered voters in the Diaspora who turned up for the elections that were held at different embassies all over the world was 49 percent.
"You have to bear in mind that the day on which the general elections were held was a public holiday this was not the case for those people and most had to travel long distances to go to vote," he said.
Unlike the Diaspora, the turn-up of voters in the country was very high as 98 percent of the registered voters participated in the polls that have been praised by many international observers as being very peaceful.
The just concluded elections were swept by the coalition of political parties that was led by the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) which garnered 78 percent.
This percentage gave them a share of 42 seats out of the 53 that were contested for in the general election. The runners-up were the Socio-Democrats (PSD) who got 13 percent thereby winning seven seats, while the Liberal party (PL) walked away with four seats with their 7 percent votes.
The function was also attended by many MP-elects from different political organisations.
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