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EU release final 2008 election observation report

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The European Union (EU) election observer mission in Rwanda has released a final report for the September 2008 legislative elections, the 48 –page document provides assessments and recommendations done by the mission, RNA reports.

Head of the observer mission Mr. Michael Cashman, also a member of the European parliament presented the report during a press conference at Kigali’s Novotel Hotel after four (4) months.

Despite some shortcomings during the elections Mr. Cashman noted a positive conduct of elections in Rwanda. “The process of democratisation in Rwanda since the end of the Genocide is remarkable,” he said.

The elections were conducted in a peaceful environment, a fact that deserves to be commended, said Mr. Cashman, “Also the massive election of women to the chamber of deputies is a world wide record that Rwanda can highly be proud of”.

The 2008 legislative elections saw Rwanda breaking the record of female representation in parliament at 56 percent and subsequently brought the first woman Speaker in the Chamber of deputies in the region.

The EU observer mission report provides a total of 22 recommendations addressed to Rwandan authorities, political parties, civil society organisations and Rwandan international partners.

“I am back in Rwanda to inform the Rwandan authorities, civil society and the population of the EU observation mission findings and to present recommendations on the way forward,” underlined Mr Cashman. “Our report is a constructive one, and should be considered as such. The recommendations we are issuing now are meant to help Rwanda further improve the conduct of elections”.

According to the observation mission, the 2008 elections signify all elements required to meet international election standards, and best practices.

Apart from the EU, other observers came from the African Union, the East African Community and other multinational groupings and members of the Rwandan Civil Society. (End)


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