Monday, 18 March 2013

MPs approve amendments to Political Parties Bill


MP Byabarumwanzi
The Chamber of Deputies has amended requirements for political organisations’ administrators as laid down in the Bill on political organisations and politicians. 

Last month, debate on the legislation hit a snag when the House voted to have the standing Committee on Unity, Human Rights and Fight against Genocide re-examine Article 13. 

Presenting the edited Bill, last week, committee chairperson François Byabarumwanzi, said Article 13 (requirements for political organisations administrators) was reviewed such that for one to be an administrator of a political organisation, they must be: Rwandan; at least 21 years; reside in the country; and not have irreproachable morals or probity. 

Other requirements are that such individuals must not have been deprived of their civil or political rights by courts of law, not have been sentenced to more than six months of imprisonment and not having committed crimes of genocide. 

“When reviewing these requirements, we considered that one to be an administrator in a political organisation, they must have irreproachable morals and this requires them not to have been imprisoned for six months or more,” Byabarumwanzi told the House.

Before the review, the article required candidates to be at least 25 years old, not having served more than five years in jail in the last 10 years, among others. 

Byabarumwanzi told The New Times, yesterday, that the age limit of 21 was standard legal requirement for “majority age” in the country as set in other laws. 

Lawmakers also approved modifications to the law on elections to allow more people a chance to contest for grassroots leadership. 

 Sources of wealth 

Byabarumwanzi told the House that members of his committee also scrutinised and reviewed Articles 50 (source of the assets of the Consultative Forum of Political Parties); and 51 (audit of the assets of the forum), because queries had been raised during last month’s presentation. 

The earlier version stated that the forum’s assets shall come from; the State budget; donations; legacies and interests from the forum activities.

However, the clause was revised and “the State budget” changed to “state aid” because, Byabarumwanzi explained, “using or depending on the State budget would mean interfering in the forum’s activities.”


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