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The East African : June 2nd 2014
14 Supporters of incarcerated opposition leader Victoire Ingabire outside Supreme Court. The government has been accused of harassing opposition politicians. Picture: File The EastAfrican NEWS MAY 31 - JUNE 6, 2014 SUCCESSION RNC goes for new faces in party elections Opposition g≥oup says it will not pa≥ticipate in 2017 elections but will focus on unity of Rwandans A JOINT REPORT The EastAfrican T he Rwanda National Congress, an exiled op- sition group operating om Washington, last week ld elections that injected esh blood into the party’s adership. However, the party an- unced that it will not rticipate in the 2017 presintial elections because it ants to unite Rwandans st before pushing for reme change. Save for Dr Theogene Ru- singwa, a former director Cabinet in President Paul agame’s office, the opposion group said former offials will serve the party in her capacities. Dr Gerald Gahima, former osecutor general and rmer army chief of staff en Kayumba Nyamwasa ve been left out in the new ne-up. Observers said that omis- sion of the two former senior state officials who still cause unease in Kigali could be a calculated move to remove “most wanted men” from the party’s leadership. But the new RNC officials maintained that Dr Gahima and Mr Nyamwasa are still party leaders, even without portfolios. “Gen Nyamwasa, Dr Ger- ald Gahima and Joseph Ngarambe are founding members of the RNC,” said Dr Rudasingwa, the party’s coordinator. “They have been, and re- main, our active leaders. They do not need formal positions to give guidance and lead in all we do.” New line up The new line up comprises Dr Emmanuel Hakizimana, a lecturer of economics in Canada, as secretary general. He was a lecturer at the National University of Rwanda before going into exile. Dr Hakizimana has not been indicted by Kigali like other former RPF officials in the RNC ranks, but he is not known in Rwanda as a politician. Dr Rudasingwa, the new co-ordinator, though well COALITION Recently, two Rwandan opposition parties — RDR-Rwanda Rwiza founded by exiled former prime minister Faustin Twagiramungu, and a faction of Parti Sociale Imberakuri loyal to jailed opposition member Bernard Ntaganda — have formed a coalition with Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, the Rwandan Hutu rebel group accused of committing the 1994 genocide. known, cannot set foot in Kigali for fear of being arrested. There are 11 political or- ganisations in the country. Nine of these are working under the aegis of the Political Forum, which has been accused of working with the ruling RPF. FDU-Inkingi and PS-Im- berakuri of the jailed opposition leaders Victoire Ingabire and Bernard Ntaganda respectively are not registered and therefore cannot participate in elections. Mr Ntaganda is expected to finish serving his jail term in June. Another group of opposition parties including RNC, which caused excitement in and outside Rwanda when it was launched in 2010, operate from exile and their operations within the country are clandestine. Exiled groups and unreg- istered parties cite harassment of opposition leaders as a hindrance to democratic growth, but the government says some opposition groups lack ideology and are working with dangerous groups like the FDLR. “We already have activity in Rwanda; of course clandestine since the regime has made it clear RNC members must be in jail or be killed,” Dr Rudasingwa said in reference to arrests of opposition leaders and the recent killing of ex-spy chief Col Patrick Karegeya in a South African hotel. Rwanda government has distanced itself from the murder of Col Karegeya.
May 26th 2014
June 9th 2014