Commonwealth Election Reports

2310-1512 (online)
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Commonwealth Election Reports, the reports of Commonwealth Observer Groups, Missions or Expert Teams, are independently prepared by the team members as a contribution to the democracy and consensus-building in Commonwealth countries.
Rwanda Presidential Elections, 9 August 2010

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Commonwealth Observer Group
01 Nov 2010
9781848590977 (PDF)

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The Report of the Commonwealth Observer Group for the Rwanda Presidential elections. The Group was led by H E Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, former SecretaryGeneral of the Organisation of African Unity and also a former Prime Minister Tanzania, and comprised thirteen eminent persons in total.

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  • Letter of Transmittal
  • Introduction

    At the invitation of the Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission of Rwanda, Prof Dr Chrysologue Karangwa, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mr Kamalesh Sharma, constituted an Observer Group for the Rwanda Presidential Elections scheduled for 9 August 2010. In line with usual practice, the Secretary-General sent an Assessment Mission to Rwanda to assess the prevailing situation as well as the pre-electoral environment, prior to his final decision on whether to constitute a Commonwealth Observer Group. The Assessment Mission was in Rwanda from 17–23 April 2010.

  • Political Background

    The area presently occupied by Rwanda has been inhabited since the 1300s. By the 17th century a kingdom was established inhabited by Hutus, Tutsis and Twa. Rwanda first became a German protectorate in 1884, and under the name Ruanda-Urundi, became part of German East Africa in 1890. After the First World War, it came under Belgian administration under a League of Nations mandate, and after World War II Ruanda-Urundi became a UN trust territory with Belgium as the administrative authority.

  • The Electoral Framework and Election Administration
  • Election Campaign and the Media

    The election campaign commenced on 20 July 2010 and ended on 8 August 2010, one day before the elections. However, the election environment was influenced by political developments taking place well before the formal campaign.

  • Voting, Counting and Tabulation

    On 9 August 2010 Rwanda held voting for the country’s second Presidential election since the 1994 genocide. Elections were organised across the entire country, comprising Kigali City and the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Provinces. Voting was also conducted on the day before in Rwandan embassies and consulates abroad.

  • Conclusions and Recommendations

    The 9 August Presidential Elections in Rwanda were conducted in a peaceful atmosphere. During the campaign, candidates enjoyed freedom of movement and assembly and they did not report any incidents. On the day of the election, universal suffrage was provided for, voters turned out in very large numbers across the country and the process was well administered by the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

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