Rwanda 2013 Election - Chambre des Députés
Challenges facing the government include maintaining internal and regional security, promoting further democratization; judicial and media reform; completion of prosecution of remaining individuals for crimes relating to the 1994 genocide, either by the regular court system or the gacaca system; integrating former combatants and prisoners; preventing the recurrence of any insurgency directed by ex-military and Interahamwe militia who remain in eastern Congo; and the continuing work on medium- and long-term development.
The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR) was registered officially as a political party in 2013, after the government blocked its attempts to register in 2009 and 2010. Authorities, however, granted the registration just one working day before candidate lists for the 2013 Chamber of Deputies elections were due, and the DGPR was unable to register candidates for the election. DGPR leaders reported the party was permitted to publish policy proposals as alternatives to RPF policy and hold small meetings with party supporters. Local officials, however, often threatened DGPR members with dismissal from employment or the withholding of state services unless they left the party. In 2014 the organizing secretary for DGPR, Jean Damascene Munyeshyaka, disappeared after meeting with an unknown individual in the town of Nyamata, Bugesera District. Police reported no developments regarding his disappearance during the year 2016.
Party leaders for the unregistered opposition party Democratic Pact of the Imanzi People (PDP-Imanzi) and a splinter party, the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA), continued to seek permission to hold a founding party congress following the cancellation of the PDP-Imanzi congress in Gasabo District in 2013. The Ministry of Local Government and local officials continued to deny PDP-Imanzi and PDA permission to hold such a meeting, citing the two parties’ connections to Deo Mushayidi, who remained incarcerated on state security charges.
Elections for parliament’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, in 2013 were peaceful and orderly, but according to international observers did not meet the generally recognized standards for free and fair elections. In 2010 voters elected President Paul Kagame to a second seven-year term with 93 percent of the vote; the National Electoral Commission (NEC) reported that 97.5 percent of the population participated in the election. Observers’ confidence in the integrity of electoral results was undermined by their being denied access to vote tabulation at the polling station, district, and national level. Opposition parties experienced difficulties in registering candidates ahead of the elections, depriving voters of a meaningful choice at the polls.
On July 24, 2014 Rwandan Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi was dismissed and Anastase Murekezi appointed to replace him. Murekezi became President Paul Kagame’s third prime minister since 2000, and the country’s 10th since 1960.
While the decision to replace Habumuremyi was not officially described as a dismissal, that is how it was reported in local media. And there had been no official denial that he was, in effect, fired. Afterwards, President Paul Kagame said the Cabinet shakeup did not mean the replaced members were lacking in capabilities or achievements, and added they would continue to serve in other offices.
There had been media reports outside Rwanda that police were investigating the former prime minister and his family for possible links to the Rwandan rebel group FDLR, based in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
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