House of Lords written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made directly or through the Commonwealth to the Government of Rwanda about the treatment of the political opposition there; and whether they will encourage the Government of Rwanda to fulfil their international obligations by holding free and fair elections.

Photo of Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Minister of State (Africa and the UN), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Africa and UN)

In our dialogue with the Government of Rwanda, we have continuously reiterated to them the importance of holding credible elections this year. Most recently, I raised this with Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo. I underlined the importance of improving political space for the opposition and media.

In addition, our High Commissioner in Kigali has discussed the registration and operation of new political parties and issues surrounding political space with the relevant Ministers in the Rwandan Government. We have lobbied for both an EU and a Commonwealth election monitoring mission to be deployed to the elections this year, and welcome the Commonwealth's decision to send a mission. Furthermore, we have encouraged the implementation of the recommendations of the EU monitoring mission report on the 2008 elections. We also continue to engage with the Rwandan National Election Commission (NEC) over the practicalities of the forthcoming August 2010 Presidential elections. Along with other donors, the UK has provided budget support for the NEC, including for the elections budget for 2010.

We remain in regular contact with political parties in Rwanda, including opposition parties currently seeking registration.

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