Elections for Rwandan EALA MPs underway

The plenary sitting of both chambers of Parliament – the Senate and Chamber of Deputies – is set to elect nine MPs to represent Rwanda in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), today, December 12.

The move follows the submission, by the National Electoral Commission, of the final list of 24 candidates who are vying to represent Rwanda in EALA , the parliament of the East African Community (EAC).

Information from NEC indicates that the candidates include nine from the National Youth Council, the National Women Council, and the National Council of Persons with Disabilities, which provided three candidates each while five political organisations provided 15 candidates – three each.

The political organisations include Social Democratic Party (PSD), Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Inkotanyi, Socialist Party (PS) Imberakuri, Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR), and Liberal Party (PL).

Some of the candidates are MPs in the current EALA Assembly, who seek reelection to this legislative arm of EAC. They include Francoise Uwumukiza (as candidate from National Women Council), Fatuma Ndangiza from RPF Inkotanyi, and Francine Rutazana from PL.

According to the organic law governing election of Rwandan Members of EALA published in the Official Gazette on August 29, 2022, Rwanda members of EALA originate from political organisations represented in the Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies, National Youth Council, National Women Council, and the National Council of Persons with Disabilities.

Each category in which Rwanda’s representatives to EALA are elected is allocated a number of members, with political organisations accounting for six; while the three national councils get one, each.

Members of EALA are elected for a five-year term, renewable once; which means that some Rwanda EALA members stand a chance for reelection. The 4th EALA Assembly – the current one – started in 2017 and its term will end on December 17, 2022, after which the 5th EALA Assembly will begin.

The Assembly members are drawn from East African EAC Partner States – currently seven, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (newest to the bloc). Each Partner State will have nine members in the Assembly.