Rwandan opposition parties have decided to consolidate their efforts in a bid to end what they term as “tactical and procedural problems” as well as end harassment and intimidation by the government. A joint statement issued this morning by the three parties namely; United Democratic Forces-FDU Inkingi, Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Parti Social IMBERAKURI says, “In view of the many barriers, both legal and administrative, that the regime has put in place to prevent political parties from being formally registered we have decided to form a common political platform called the Permanent Consultative Council of Opposition Parties.” The statement signed by the three party leaders respectively Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Mr. Frank Habineza and Mr. Bernard Ntaganda further adds “The main objective of our platform is: to articulate a common political platform and carry out the work of lobbying and advocacy at the national and international levels.”
Speaking to Newstime Africa, Mr. Frank Habineza chairman of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda said, possibilities of fielding one presidential candidate are being explored. “We are not ruling out the idea of fronting one presidential candidate, but that will be decided on after other key areas we mentioned in the communiqué have been dealt with.” Those key areas of collaboration according to the statement are: Registration of political parties, diplomacy, information and communication and Justice. New York based Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have come out to strongly condemn attacks and intimidation of Rwandan opposition groups as the country prepares for presidential elections on August 9, 2010.
Both rights groups urged the Rwandan government to investigate the intimidation of opposition groups, bring those responsible to justice and take immediate steps to respect the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly of opposition parties.
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