Rwanda:Female opposition candidate not on list of presidential candidates

Presidential Candidate Diane Shima Rwigara

Rwanda’s only female candidate, Diane Shima Rwigara may not see her dream of being the next Rwandan president after the National Electoral Commission of Rwanda (NEC) released a provisional list of presidential candidates without her name on it.

According to NEC, Shima has not met the nomination requirements to challenge President Paul Kagame in the August 4 polls.

A provisional list released by the NEC Chairman, Prof Kalisa Mbanda, on Tuesday indicated that only President Paul Kagame, a candidate of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and Frank Habineza, the flag bearer of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda had made it to the provisional list.

Prof Mbanda indicated that Ms Rwigara and four other independent aspirants have only five days to update their files if they are to contest.

“Independents Diane Shima Rwigara and Gilbert Mwenedata have not been confirmed because their files lack components,” said Prof Mbanda, adding, “We verified the signatures and the independent candidates fell short of the required number in all districts.” the Daily Monitor reports.

Independent presidential aspirants are required to present 600 signatures with at least 12 from each of the 30 districts of Rwanda, proof of Rwandan Citizenship and the birth certificate, among others; this is according to the country’s electoral laws

The Independent candidates were given five days to bring the missing elements in their files or risk being on the final list.

The 35-year-old is the only female challenger. She submitted her nomination documents to NEC on Tuesday last week.

Her manifesto is hinged on putting in place a non-discriminative political environment that is inclusive for all Rwandans, eliminating economic inequality among Rwandans, and ensuring basic rights like; a right to a home and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare and food.


By Marie Claire

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