Presidential hopefuls in Rwanda, today started submitting their candidatures to National electoral commission (NEC) that will determine who qualifies to contest in the August 4th Presidential elections.
NEC will continue receiving credentials from potential candidates until July 7th when qualified candidates will be announced.
Candidates will campaign for 24days before August 4th when voters will go to polls to cast their votes.
Currently, the ruling party RPF Inkotanyi at the Provincial and City of Kigali level, has already endorsed incumbent President Paul Kagame as the party’s next flag bearer.
RPF party is yet to hold its general assembly in which it will decide on the final endorsement of its flag-bearer.
“I am sure that I will win the presidential polls by at least 51 percent” Habineza said after presenting his papers.
After Habineza, two other presidential aspirants Gilbert Mwenedata and Fred S. Barafinda- who are less known to the general public also presented their campaign credentials which include 15 requirements for approval by NEC.
Barafinda Ssekikubo Fred claims to belong to Rwanda Revolutionary Union Democratic Advancers (RRUDA), which is not on the list of registered parties in Rwanda.
On top of that however, he did not have certification of Rwandan national identity among other key documents.
“I came on rush and could not collect all of them. I will bring everything soon,” said Barafinda who claims to have nine million followers in a country of twelve million.
Other hopefuls expected to present their papers include; Philippe Mpayimana, a former journalist and long self-exiled Rwandan in France,Diana Shimwa Rwigara- daughter of deceased tycoon Asinapol Rwigara.
Meanwhile, Social Democratic Party (PSD) and Liberal Party (PL) already endorsed Paul Kagame as their flag-bearer.
PS Imberakuri, another opposition party, yesterday held its congress and announced it will not have a flag-bearer, citing “The party is still building itself and finds it not the right time to join presidential race.”
However, the party President Christine Mukabunani told journalists that: “This decision will not stop our members from casting their votes just like any other citizen when Election Day comes.”
Other political parties have not yet announced their stand.
There are 11 political parties in Rwanda. Those that have not announced anything in relation to Presidential elections include; l’Union Démocratique du Peuple Rwandais (UDPR).
The Party for Progress and Concord (PPC) which had a flag bearer – Alivera Mukabaramba in 2003 pools did not announce their stand neither and so is the Centrist Democratic Party (PDC), the Rwandese Labour Party (PSR) and Party for Solidarity and Progress (PSP).
Parti Democrate Ideal (PDI) whose leader is former Internal Minister Musa Fazil Harerimana did not approve any candidate, too.
Among others, Candidates endorsed by their political parties will have to attach a letter of approval by their parties.
For independent candidates, each of them must submit a list of at least 600 people supporting them, with signatures against their ID numbers but one must solicit 12 signatures from each of the 30 districts in the country.