Rwanda Decides: Rwandans in the Diaspora finish casting their vote
As earlier reported and organized by the National Electoral Commission (NEC), all Rwandans in the Diaspora have cast their vote on Thursday 3 August, as the Rwandans in the country will be voting on Friday 4 August.
Rwandans are making their choice on who of incumbent President Paul Kagame, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF – Inkotanyi) flag bearer, Frank Habineza (Democratic Green Party of Rwanda), and Philipe Mpayimana, an independent, would lead the country for the next seven years
However, the seven year term in the office is ending at this year’s election. According to the Constitutional changes in a 2015 referendum, in 2024, the presidential term will be cut to five years.
The United States of America, Canada, China, Belgium, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa are some of the countries where the voting has taken place, adding to the rest of the world where Rwandans are residing.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) said that over 44,000 citizens residing outside Rwanda were registered to vote and they were served by 98 polling stations from South Korea to England to the United States.
In Uganda, voters are reported to have reached the polling stations from all corners, with some arriving as early as 3am in the morning.
“Some groups from Kiryandongo and Kiboga were here as early as 3am and 4 am,” Mr. Kevin Beza, the communications officer at the Embassy said.
Rwanda’s ambassador to Uganda Maj. Gen Frank Mugambage expressed excitement that many Rwandans had participated in the exercise.
“As you can see, Rwandans have come up very early to exercise their right and responsibility and as you can see, the process started on time, because the guidelines demand that we start voting at 7am. It is good that the voters arrived on time and so we started just around 7am,” Mr Mugambage said.
Rwanda is one of the few countries that allow citizens in the Diaspora to play a role in electing the president.
The electoral agency is expected to announce the provisional results by Wednesday, and the final official results will then be announced a week later on August 16.
Reporter: Shamilah Namuddu