Rwanda: Opposition Leader Victoire Ingabire Advocates for Presidential Election Candidacy Rights

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
Victoire Ingabire

With just a few months remaining until the presidential election, opposition figure Victoire Ingabire appeared before the High Court on Wednesday morning to petition for the restoration of her political rights. Convicted in 2013 for “conspiracy against the authorities” and “minimizing the 1994 genocide,” she was granted presidential pardon and released in 2018. However, she remains barred from running for office due to her prior conviction, despite believing she has fulfilled all conditions necessary to regain her civil rights.

According to Victoire Ingabire, five years after her release, the legal timeframe for initiating a rehabilitation process has elapsed, and she has met all requirements to reclaim her political rights. “I participate in community work, attend meetings in my village, and comply with all government activities and instructions, so the conditions necessary for me to request rehabilitation are in place,” she argued.

However, the prosecutor opposed her request for several reasons: her absence from certain required appointments since her release, particularly during the lockdown period, ongoing investigations by the Rwandan Investigation Bureau (RIB), and her status within the unrecognized party Dalfa Umurinzi.

“Dalfa is a party still under construction, so we should not expect it to meet the requirements of an accredited party. Regarding the cases opened by the RIB, we should not have eternal investigations to prevent someone from exercising their rights because these cases have been open for over five years. Therefore, I have demonstrated to the judge that I am free and innocent,” Ingabire further defended herself.

Victoire Ingabire has already expressed her intention to run in the presidential election scheduled for July 15 of this year. However, her candidacy now hinges on the judgment of the High Court, which is expected to be delivered on March 13.


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