4 October 2013

Today, President Kagame officiated the swearing-in ceremony of 80 parliamentarians as well as members of the judiciary including the Prosecutor General. Addressing members of Parliament, President Kagame reminded those present of the challenges Rwanda has surmounted:

“Under very heavy rain, the Rwandan spirit never dissolved. Under the scorching sun, the Rwandan spirit did not melt. The spirit of Rwanda has remained intact and it will take us through another day, another month and many more years. You must remember that we were killed. Our country almost disappeared but this cannot and will not happen a second time.”

Thanking all those who participated in the peaceful, free and fair elections, President Kagame pointed to Rwanda’s brand of democracy as one that caters to the need of the Rwandan people:

“The principles of democracy are the same everywhere but they need to be applied to our specific context and history. Democracy we believe in is not about copy pasting from contexts that are not our own, we believe in adapting it to our needs. The Rwandan people expect hard work from each of you and the determination to deliver results that benefit every Rwanda.”

President Kagame urged the newly elected parliamentarians not to be naïve regarding Rwanda’s critics:

“Those who judge us don’t talk about how many women in parliament, children in school. They rather accuse us of having child soldiers in DRC.We are treated with injustice but our business is to make sure we work hard to be responsible for ourselves.

The eighty newly elected members of Parliament sworn in today chose Hon. Donatille Mukabalisa as the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and Hon. Mukama Abbas and Hon. Jeanne d’Arc Uwimanimpaye as the two Deputy Speakers of the Chamber of Deputies. The new parliament remains first in the world with the highest number of women represented at 64%.