Rwandan senate elects new president
Rwanda's Senate on Thursday elected new president following a swearing-in ceremony of 20 new senators.
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame officiated the ceremony held at the parliamentary building in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda, sitting along with the outgoing Senate president Bernard Makuza, Chief Justice Sam Rugege and Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente at the platform.
Members of the two parliamentary chambers, the 26-member Senate and the 80-member lower house Chamber of Deputies were seated.
Former Rwandan foreign minister Augustin Iyamuremye, who is a member of the opposition party Social Democratic Party, was elected as President of Senate shortly after 20 new senators took an oath of office before Kagame.
He beat the single competitor Zephyrin Kalimba by 25 to 1 votes.
Iyamuremye pledged to work diligently during his term and called on fellow senators for team work.
Senate leaders cannot fulfill their responsibilities without the input of all senators, he said. "What I pledge with my fellow leaders elected is that we shall work together and do our best to deliver on our responsibilities in the interest of all Rwandans."
The 74-year-old who would be the acting president of Rwanda if the incumbent president is permanently unable to assume the duty of the president.
Six senators who have been in office since the previous Senate will be replaced next year by four newcomers picked by Kagame and two picked by the consultative forum after they complete the 8-year term.
New senators will serve a five-year term, which can be renewed once after a constitutional amendment in 2015 shortened the eight-year non-renewable term.
Two female senators, former minister of gender Esperance Nyirasafari and former minister of state in the ministry of local government Alvera Mukabaramba, were elected as vice-presidents of Senate.
Kageme pledged his support to the new senators at the ceremony, and challenged them to remain close to citizens in order to understand citizens' challenges which are needed to be addressed.
He asked the lawmakers to take responsibility of delivering national service and to meet the expectation of the Rwandan people, taking decisions in the national interest and fostering national unity. (Xinhua)