Parliament passes election law

The Rwandan parliament has passed a draft law on presidential and parliamentary elections, the Rwandan News Agency (RNA) reported on Friday.

The law details requirements that presidential and parliamentary candidates must meet in order to contest, as well as campaign regulations.

RNA reported that the law required parliamentary contestants to be at least 21 years of age and to have been proposed by a political party or an association of political parties. Independent candidates must provide 600 signatures of eligible voters, with at least 30 from each province in the country.

Presidential candidates must be Rwandans proposed by their parties, and independent candidates must provide 600 signatures of eligible voters, with at least 30 from each province.

The agency reported that Parliament had also passed a draft law governing political parties in the country. The law requires that parties should not be established based on nepotism, ethnicity, religion, gender or any other criteria that would foster division. It also requires the parties to register again, within two weeks.

The transition period in Rwanda, that began after the 1994 genocide, comes to an end at the end of July. Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in August and September respectively.