US Embassy observers denied access to polling station during September elections.

usdos-logo-sealTwo months after elections in Rwanda, the US embassy has issued a statement. While it commends the preparation and the peaceful participation of the people, it argues that irregularities that took place could have undermined the integrity of results. It goes on to say that

“On election day on September 16, the U.S. Embassy dispatched observer teams accredited by the National Electoral Commission to all four provinces and Kigali.  These teams noted that while the elections were calm and well organized, there were irregularities and issues of concern that potentially undermined the integrity of the vote.  These included the presence of local and security officials in polling rooms, multiple voting, and local election officials filling out ballots in the absence of voters.

Once the vote count began, Rwandan electoral officials denied U.S. Embassy observers access to polling station, district, and national level tallying centers.   We were thus unable to match vote counts from individual polling stations with district and national level results, making it impossible to verify the accuracy of the final vote count and official participation rate.

In free, fair, and transparent elections, candidates, political parties, civil society organizations, and observers enjoy full access to the electoral process.  This access is also crucial for ensuring that the will of the people can be heard”.


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