Rwanda Political System

Political system

In May 2003, short for RW by Abbreviationfinder, Rwanda adopted a new constitution, whose main purpose is to prevent future genocide. The constitution also stipulates that the country should be a democracy with multi-party systems. In reality, since the turn of the millennium, Rwanda has moved in an authoritarian direction and it is difficult to oppose.

The Constitution places a strong emphasis on “national unity”. Blowing rash hatred is forbidden. Parties may not identify themselves with a people group, religion, clan, gender “or any other criterion that may give rise to discrimination”. The need for unity is underlined by the fact that no party may hold more than half the seats in the government, regardless of the number of seats in parliament. The President and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies (see below) may not belong to the same party.

  • Countryaah: Total population and chart of Rwanda for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.

The President has great power. She is head of state and commander-in-chief, has the right to issue declarations of war and call for state of emergency and decide on a referendum. The president approves laws and can initiate legislation himself. It is the president who appoints the prime minister (the head of government) and the highest heads of the military, the police, the judiciary, the state administration and the central bank. Other government ministers are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister.

The president is elected for seven years in general elections. Previously, the president could only be re-elected once, but this was changed in 2015 to allow Paul Kagame (president since 2000) to run for a third term in the 2017 election. law violations.

The legislative Parliament consists of two chambers. There are 80 members in the Chamber of Deputies (lower house), of which 53 are elected and the others are indirectly appointed (see below). The term of office is five years. In the indirectly elected Senate (upper house), there are 26 members in eight years. They are elected by a so-called electoral college consisting mainly of local politicians and representatives of women’s organizations.

In the Chamber of Deputies, women are guaranteed at least 24 seats (30 percent of seats). They are also elected by an electoral college which includes, among other things, the president. Together with the women who are elected, this has given Rwanda the world’s highest representation of women in parliament. Two members of the Chamber of Deputies are appointed by the National Youth Council and one by organizations for the disabled.

Administratively, Rwanda is divided into five provinces, governed by government-appointed governors. The provinces are divided into 30 districts, 416 sectors and over 9,000 “cells” led by elected representatives.

Political parties

Although the constitution guarantees free party formation, the rules of unity and prohibition against discrimination tend to lead to the suppression of the opposition. The critics got water at their mill when the hut-dominated MDR (see below) was banned in 2003. Also, a ban on conducting political electoral movement at the local level is considered to consolidate the ruling Tutsidominated party’s holding of power.

Political life is completely dominated by Rwanda’s patriotic front (Front Patriotique Rwandais, FPR, also known as the English abbreviation RPF). Despite attempts to emerge as a single party, FPR is strongly associated with the Tutsi minority. The party does not have its own majority in parliament but dominates it through cooperation with some small parties without significant own profile. In practice, the support of these parties means that the FPR has a stronger grip on the government than the rule on at most half of the ministerial posts allows.

When the Hut-dominated Republican Democratic Movement (Mouvement Démocratique Républicain, MDR) was dissolved by Parliament in 2003, almost all opposition was silenced. The occasional opposition parties that are still tolerated have a hard time being any real counter-force to FPR.

Three opposition parties in exile joined forces in the United Democratic Forces (UDF) in 2006, but it has been refused registration and has therefore not been able to stand in elections. The UDF’s leading representatives moved back to Rwanda in 2010, where in particular the chairman Victoire Ingabire has been subjected to harassment by the authorities. In 2012, Ingabire was sentenced to eight years in prison (the following year extended to 15 years) for “treason” and for impairing genocide by pointing out that Hutus were also killed. She was pardoned by President Kagame in 2018 and released.

In 2009, the Social Party Imberakuri (Parti Social Imberakuri) was recognized as an official opposition party and in 2013 the Democratic Green Party (Parti Démocratique Vert) was allowed to register. The Social Democratic Party (Parti Social Démocrate) and the Liberal Party (Parti Libéral) both refer to themselves as independent but in practice act as support parties to the FPR.

Since the 2018 elections, in addition to the FPR, the Democratic Green Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Liberal Party, the Social Party Imberakuri and four FPR faithful small parties are also represented in Parliament. Of these, only the Democratic Green Party can be described as a genuine opposition party.

In 2010, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) was formed by volatile Rwandans in the United States. Most of them had previously been highly regarded in the military and / or FPR but had broken with President Kagame.

The armed resistance movement FDLR, with its roots in the genocide, is still active in Congo-Kinshasa but is mostly engaged in looting and abuse of the local population there and no longer poses any threat to Rwanda.

Rwanda Urban Population



Kagame is accused of shooting down the 1994 presidential plan

Rwanda interrupts diplomatic relations with France after a French judge accused President Kagame of ordering the firing of the then president’s aircraft in 1994. The judge is prosecuting nine of Kagame’s closest associates.


Inquire about the role of France

Rwanda opens public hearings on France’s role in the genocide.


France’s role in the genocide is being investigated

The government appoints a commission made up of historians, lawyers and military to investigate France’s possible support for the Hutu regime that carried out the genocide.


The number of provinces is decreasing

The country’s twelve provinces are being converted to just five. The intention is for all provinces to become more ethnically mixed and for provincial names associated with the genocide to disappear.