Rwanda: RPF, the Ruling Party, Prepares for the Upcoming Elections

Kigali, Rwanda- As the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) gears up for the upcoming primary elections, there has been a notable increase in activities across the nation. On January 20, 2024, RPF-Inkotanyi cadres, hailing from decentralized party structures, embarked on a series of training sessions. These sessions, which spanned across all provinces and the City of Kigali, were fundamentally focused on preparing party members for the impending primary elections.

The RPF-Inkotanyi, a dominant force in Rwandan politics for the past three decades, has been known for its unwavering control over the political landscape of the country. The party’s prominence in Rwandan governance is not without its critics. Over the years, there have been allegations of stifling opposition and suppressing attempts to form new political parties that might challenge the RPF’s stronghold. Such accusations have often pointed to harsh measures, including imprisonment and, in extreme cases, allegations of assassinations, to maintain the party’s grip on power.

During the recent training sessions, the party took the opportunity to express gratitude to its members for their contributions in shaping the party’s manifesto for the upcoming elections. The members were also encouraged to mobilize and ensure robust participation in the elections. In a gesture of goodwill and optimism, the RPF-Inkotanyi extended New Year wishes to all Rwandans, hoping for a year filled with progress and renewed dedication towards national development.

However, the upcoming elections, slated for the summer, are viewed by several observers and experts, both domestic and international, as a mere formality. The consensus among these observers is that no opposition candidate or party of significant standing will be permitted to present a viable challenge in the elections. This perspective casts a shadow on the democratic process in Rwanda, raising questions about the true nature of political competition and the essence of democratic principles in the nation’s electoral process.