Rwanda officials meet over measures to ensure peaceful presidential elections

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-12 04:48:47|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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KIGALI, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Senior officials from Rwanda's Ministry of Justice, National Electoral Commission and Rwanda National Police (RNP) on Tuesday met here to discuss and harmonize measures to ensure that the upcoming presidential campaigns are incident-free throughout the country.

The meeting held at the RNP General Headquarters was chaired by Minister of Justice and Attorney General Johnston Busingye. It was also attended by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Executive Secretary Charles Munyaneza, Inspector General of Police Emmanuel Gasana and other officials.

Busingye called for all actors to ensure the calm and peaceful elections scheduled for August 4. "For election to run smoothly, everyone must come on board and work together as a team. In the last 23 years, elections have been conducted in a smooth, calm and peaceful manner, we expect the same spirit in August the polls."

He said with diverse opinions interactions and openness there is no climate of fear as some organizations have insinuated.

"The elections preparations are meant to ensure each one's rights are respected and maintained," said the minister.

He advised media to avoid publicizing divisive information, notably division is not among the choices Rwanda is ever going to make again.

Gasana said that the measures have been in place to ensure election run smoothly, he will ensure all Rwandans are secure before, during and after elections.

"I will provide security at polling stations and campaign rally sites across the country," he said.

He also appealed to the public to avoid and report rumours intended to undermine peace and security during the elections.

Munyaneza said NEC will set up a media center which will be providing the news to the journalists at any time. "We are going to set up a team to ensure you get credible and reliable news about elections on time," he added.

Campaigns for three qualified presidential candidates will officially begin on July 14 and end on August 3, just a day before the elections.

About 6.8 million people will participate in this year's presidential elections, up from 5.7 million who participated in 2010 presidential elections, according to the NEC.

Incumbent President Paul Kagame will seek re-election in the election. Kagame has been president since 2000 when he was elected transitional president by ministers and members of parliament following the resignation of then President Pasteur Bizimungu. Kagame was then reelected in 2003 and 2010.