NEC to Establish a Media Center for the 2017 Presidential Elections

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This year’s presidential elections budget remains high despite a slight drop to over Rwf6billion from Rwf7billion.

As part of its preparations to conduct the 2017 Presidential Elections, scheduled for August 4, the Rwanda Election Commission (NEC) plans to set up a media center.

The NEC executive secretary, Charles Munyaneza said that the center will function as the focal point for all NEC communications during the elections period including the announcement of results.

In a press briefing by the electoral commission Munyaneza stated that the establishment of the center is part of the NEC’s effort to meet media requirements and to ensure the best and widest possible coverage of the elections.

Munyaneza revealed that the center will provide a range of services including reception and information desk, providing guests with information on the center’s services and schedule and access to NEC publications including press releases and fact sheets.

NEC official also noted the number of polling centers may decrease but the number of voting rooms will increase in number as a result of increase in number of constructed school building were voting exercise will take place.

Prof. Kalisa Mbanda, the NEC chairman revealed that so far there are only three Rwandans who have showed interest in running for the upcoming 2017 presidential elections.

The candidates include Gilbert Mwenedata, Phillip Mpayimana, and Diane Rwigara have been asked to solicit for signatories to back their candidature before the end of July.

“Each of them will have to collect 600 signatures in total with at least 12signatures from each of the 30 districts across the country” the NEC chairman said.

NEC said that the full list of legible candidates will be announced on July 7, fifteen days before the election date slated for August 4, 2017.

The NEC Executive Secretary, Charles Munyaneza also said this year’s presidential elections budget remains high despite a slight drop to over Rwf6billion from Rwf7billion in 2010.

Most of the expenses (70percent) of the election budget goes to election material. This is a lot of money but the fact behind such a high budget is because presidential elections are very important” Munyaneza told Rwanda Eye.

The commission also said that there is plan to open a media center (the first of its kind) that will publish and disseminate information, election results and feed media houses with election updates.

Munyaneza said that the number of polling centers may decrease but the number of voting rooms will increase in number as a result of increase in number of constructed school building were voting exercise take place.

With over six millions Rwandans expected to participate in August polls, Rwandans living with vision impairments will for the first time take part in the presidential election in the history of Rwanda’s election agendas, despite loopholes in use of braille skills among the blind.

“Those who can use braille, will use special braille lists that will be distributed to election centers. Those who cannot braille will use a special voting mechanism- where they will place their fingers in holes lined according to the list of candidates on the voters list” Mbanda said.

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