Aug. 25, 2003 Held


Republic of Rwanda

Election for Rwandan Presidency


Voter Participation

Cast Votes:3,812,567
Valid Votes:3,729,274
Invalid Votes:83,293

Vote Share by Candidate:

Major General Paul KAGAME3,544,777


Faustin TWAGIRAMUNGU134,865


Jean-Nepomuscene NAYINZIRA49,634

Election Results Modified: Aug 17, 2023

General Information

At stake in this election:

  • The office of President of Rwanda

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: President Paul KAGAME
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Bernard MAKUZA
  • Assembly: Rwanda has a bicameral National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale) consisting of the Senate (Sénat) with 26 seats and the Chamber of Deputies (Chambre des Députés) with 53 seats.

Description of electoral system:

  • The President is elected by plurality vote to serve a 7-year term.
  • In the Senate (Sénat), 16 members are indirectly elected to serve 8-year terms and 8 members are appointed by the President to serve 8-year terms*. In the Chamber of Deputies (Chambre des Députés), 53 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 5-year terms and 27 members are indirectly elected by special interest groups to serve 5-year terms.**

* Thirty percent of all indirectly elected Senators must be female. Twelve members are elected in accordance with the national administrative entities. Four members are designated by the Forum of Political organizations, and two university lecturers, of at least the rank of Associate Professor or a researcher, are elected by the academic and research staff of public universities and institutions of higher learning. The eight members appointed by the President are chosen to represent historically marginalized communities.

** Party-lists can contain no more than 80 candidates. Twenty-seven members are indirectly elected. Twenty-four seats are reserved for women, two are elected by the National Youth Council, and one is elected by the Federation of the Associations of the Disabled. Parties and candidates must also choose a symbol that will be placed on the ballot next to the name. The symbol must not be similar to one previously used and cannot be comprised of a combination of the three colors of the national flag.

Main Candidates in the Presidential race:

  • Major General Paul KAGAME
    • Party: Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF)
    • Party: Independent
  • Jean-Nepomuscene NAYINZIRA
    • Party: Independent

Last Presidential election:

  • The last presidential election was held on April 17, 2000 under a special election in which members of the National Assembly and government ministers chose a president. In this election, Major General Paul KAGAME won 81 out 86 votes.

Population and number of registered voters:

  • Population: 8,686,469 (2003)
  • Registered Voters: 3,863,965 (2003)

Gender Data:

·         Female Population: 4,534,532 (2003)

·         Is Rwanda a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (1 May 1980)

·         Has Rwanda ratified CEDAW: Yes(2 March 1981)

·         Gender Quota: Yes

·         Female candidates in this election: No

·         Number of Female Parliamentarians: N/A

·         Human Development Index Position: 163 (2014)

·         Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: Medium (2014)

Disability Data:

·         Is Rwanda a signatory to CRPD: No

·         Has Rwanda ratified CRPD: Yes, accession (15 December 2008)

·         Population with a disability: 1,302,970 (est.)

Election Modified: Aug 17, 2023

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