Rwandans in Kenya turn out to vote for MPs at home

EALA MP and former P.M Pierre-celestin Rwigema voting at the Diaspora voting exercise in Nairobi. [Photo: George Orido/Standard]

Rwandans in diaspora voted in early parliamentary elections yesterday.

In Kenya, there were two polling stations, one in Nairobi and the other in Mombasa.

High Commissioner James Kimonyo cast his vote before 7am at the High Commission on Limuru Road.

The Under 20 volleyball team arrived in their official national kits to vote ahead of their match against Egypt in Nairobi.

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“It is a day for Rwandans to exercise their democratic rights and it doesn’t matter where in diaspora citizens are, they are allowed to vote for their favourite leaders back home,” said Mr Kimonyo.

Commission’s First Secretary Kim Kamasa said voting went on smoothly in Mombasa.

Rwanda’s Parliament is comprised of 80 members with 53 elected for five-year term and 24 elected by provincial councils. Two others are appointed by the National Youth Council, and one by the Federation of the Associations of the Disabled.

Some 537 applied for parliamentary contest out of which 61 per cent are women.

The Rwandan Electoral Commission had put in place measures to have ballot papers ready and the ticking booth very private with one person at a time in the booth.

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East Africa Legislative Assembly member and former Prime Minster of Rwanda Pierre-Celestin Rwigema was among those who voted.

“I had to come here and vote because it is a very important exercise in the way we manage our public affairs with the endorsement and authority of the Rwandan people,” he said after voting.

Rwandan First Lady tweeted pictures of her and her husband President Paul Kagame voting in China where they are attending the China–Africa Summit.  

Those at home will vote today.

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High CommissionerRwandansvotedparliamentary electionsHigh CommissionJames Kimony