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Local elections in Kigali postponed


Local elections in Kigali postponed

Rwanda Elections
Photo: Eric Murinzi/AFP

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) of Rwanda has postponed Kigali’s local elections— originally set for today—due to the rising COVID-19 cases .

The elections will eventually convene at two separate levels where citizens can vote for the new members of the Nyagrugenge District’s advisory council and for the Vice Mayor—tasked with social events. However, due to the uncertainty of Rwanda’s outlook in its battle against the Omicron variant, the exact date for the elections is unknown.

As a result of the rapid increase in daily cases, expect the Rwandan government to postpone the elections until well after the new year. In addition, Kigali will likely implement stricter measures during the short- to medium-term to curb the spread of the disease. In this framework, Kigali could execute harsher penalties in public spheres, allaying a heavy toll on those who violate COVID-19 restrictions such as curfews.

As a country that has one of the highest vaccination rates in the continent, these new regulations will especially restrict the free movement of unvaccinated people. Kigali will likely restart the elections as soon as the daily cases return to earlier levels and the vaccination rate amongst Rwandans increases by at least 10%.

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