Sept. 29, 2003 Held


Republic of Rwanda

Election for Chambre des Députés (Rwandan Chamber of Deputies)


Cast Votes:3,818,603
Valid Votes:3,760,602
Invalid Votes:58,001


Party Seats Won Seats Change Votes

Rwanda Patriotic Front 40 2,774,661


Democratic Socialist Party 7 463,067


Liberal Party 6 396,978


More Info:

At stake in this election:

  • 53 seats in the Chamber of Deputies (Chambre des Députés)

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 parties in the electoral race:

  • Party: Rwanda Patriotic Front (FPR)*
    • Leader: President Paul Kagame
    • Seats won in this Chamber of Deputies election: 40
    • Seats won in last Chamber of Deputies election: 0
  • Party: Democratic Socialist Party (PSD)
    • Leader: Dr Vincent BIRUTA
    • Seats won in this Chamber of Deputies election: 7
    • Seats won in last Chamber of Deputies election: 0
  • Party: Liberal Party (PL)
    • Leader: Prosper HIGIRO
    • Seats won in this Chamber of Deputies election: 6
    • Seats won in last Chamber of Deputies election: 0

* Four parties have agreed to a coalition with Rwanda Patriotic Front (FPR): Centrist Democratic Party (PDC), Ideal Democratic Party (PDI), Democratic Popular Union of Rwanda (UDPR) and the Rwandan Socialist Party (PSR)

Last Parliamentary election:

  • The last parliamentary election was held on December 16, 1988 to elect members for the National Development Council. After the genocide in 1994, members of the current transitional National Assembly were selected under the provisions set by the Arusha Peace Accord.

Population and number of registered voters:

  • Population: 8,686,469 (2003)
  • Registered Voters: 3,958,058 (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: Yes

·         Number of Female Parliamentarians: 39 (Chamber of Deputies); 9 (Senate) following the 2003 elections

·         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.)