The Rwanda football elections will head for a new overflow vote for the presidency, as lone candidate Felicite Rwemalika failed to garner a majority needed for an outright win in the first round of elections on Saturday.
Initially, Madam Rwemalika was battling for the top position against incumbent president Vincent Nzamwita who until the last minutes into the general assembly withdrew his candidature due to personal and family reasons.
Madam Rwemalika stood alone and was predicted to win unopposed, however she gathered 13 votes, hence failing to accumulate the required majority 27 votes. 39 votes were declared to be invalid according to the Electoral Committee
The voting process attracted fifty two members which constitute Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) namely; 16 first division clubs, 24-second division clubs, 9 women clubs and three affiliate associations.
FERWAFA Electoral Committee chairman Adolphe Kalisa said “Another election will be held to determine the next president. In this transition period. The Executive Committee will continue exercising their duties during the 90 days according to article 28 of the FERWAFA Electoral Code.”
Currently, Rwemalika is the head of Rwandan women’s football, FERWAFA Executive member since 2007 and the 1st vice president of Rwanda Olympic and Sports Committee.
“Failing to garner the required majority as the lone candidate means a lot,” A football analyst who prefers to remain named said. “Rwemalika can still make ground but she will require some miracle or miraculous intervention to really achieve the honor as the first Rwandan, and third in the world to become a female FA president.”
Reasons behind Nzamwita’s failure to contest in FERWAFA polls
Vincent de Gaule Nzamwita had to contest in Ferwafa polls which was set on December 30, 2017 but finally pulled out of the contest.
Nzamwita was contesting with Mrs.Felicite Rwemalika, the first ever woman who took a lead in showing the will to head Ferwafa as a president.
Nzamwita communicated the press yesterday that he pulled out the contest due to his personal and family reasons as the previous night all FERWAFA candidates were campaigning up to the midnight.
Asked the reason why he finally withdrew from the contest as he was part of the duo-candidates who were on the electoral list for the battle, Nzamwita said it was his rights to decide on that.
“In life, everybody has his/her rights, no minute, no hour to decide on your side at the end, I thought of that as before I had the option to participate in the polls, whether or not I could win, yesterday December 29,2017 at 3.pm, I decided with my family to continue help football without being on the chair of Ferwafa as president,” said Nzamwita.
Nzamwita said that other reasons that people are saying that he was forced to pull out of the contest by any other force or obligation of the government’s officials are individuals’ speculations.
“I even joined Ferwafa as president before working in other services, since four years ago, my decision was that, other information saying that a candidate is supported by extra power is a speculation, there was no outside power which came to tell me the interests of my personal family,” Nzamwita stressed.
After this man pulls out the contest, his contestant Mrs. Felicite Rwemalika lost the polls with 13 votes while it required her to get 27 votes to win.
“After counting of the votes, we declare that Rwemalika got 13 votes while 39 votes were invalid. Since, the lone candidate Rwemalika didn’t get the required majority vote, the FERWAFA bodies shall continue to exercise their duties until the completion of the electoral process according to article 28 of the FERWAFA Electoral Code,” Kalisa noted.
Kalisa confirmed that the transition committee headed by the incumbent Vincent De Gaule Nzamwita will continue to chair football federation until the election is ended.
The new polls are scheduled between 60 and 90 days and everyone willing to participate as a candidate is allowed according to Kalisa.
Kalisa said that FERWAFA Executive Committee will continue their duties as mandated and among those is to prepare the next elective general Assembly which should be held between sixty and ninety days.
It means that the current executive committee led by Nzamwita Vincent will serve a transition period of three months as they prepare the next elective general assembly, whose date will be known after they organize their first meeting in January, 2018.
The newly-elected Ferwafa president and his Executive Committee will come into office to serve a four-year term (2018-2022).