Democracy in Rwanda

Democracy Ratings

Freedom House 2018


6 out of 7

(where lower scores are more democratic)

Freedom Status:

Not Free

EIU Democracy Index 2017


3.19 out of 10

(where higher scores are more democratic)

World Ranking:


Polity IV 2016



(from -10 to 10, where higher scores are more democratic)


Closed Anocracy

Political System

System of Government Presidential
Presidential Electoral System First past the post
Last Presidential Election 2017
Next Presidential Election 2024
Presidential Term Limits Two, seven-year terms

(currently under review)

System of Appointment to Legislature Lower Chamber: 53 elected through proportional representation

24 women elected through provincial councils

2 appointed by National Youth Council

1 appointed by Federation of the Associated of the Disabled

Upper Chamber: 12 indirectly elected by provincial and sectoral councils

8 appointed by president to represent historically marginalised

4 appointed by Forum of Political Formations

2 elected by university staff


Last Legislative Election


Next Legislative Election


Number of Seats in Legislature Lower Chamber: 80

Upper Chamber: 26

Female quota, representation in lower house Yes: reserved seats


Last presidential election (2017)
Candidate (Party) Votes (%)
1st round 2nd round not needed
Candidate 98.79
Paul Kagame 0.73
Philippe Mpayimana 0.48


Last legislative election (2013)      
Party   Votes (%) Seats





Rwandan Patriotic

Front coalition

Rwandan Patriotic Front  








Centrist Democratic Party 1
Ideal Democratic Party 1
Party for Progress and Concord 1
Rwandan Socialist Party 1
Social Democratic Party 13.03 7
Liberal Party 9.29 5
Social Party Imberakuri 0
Independents 0
Patriotic Front 1
Citizen Rally 1
Union of Democratic Forces 1
Independents 8

Rwanda on DiA

Rwanda 6 April 1994: A personal reflection

2 May 2024

Theogene Rudasingwa

Digital Democracy in Africa - Watch the Roundtable!

11 October 2021

Democracy in Africa

Redefining the Social Contract in Africa

30 March 2021

Nordic Africa Institute

How to Revive Africa's Lost Civic Spaces

11 December 2020

Gbenga Sesan

#BookClub: East Africa After Liberation

17 July 2020

Jonathan Fisher

#BookClub: Building peace out of diversity and violence

14 June 2020

Elisabeth King and Cyrus Samii

Leaders for a new Africa? A new ISPI Report

24 October 2019

Giovanni Carbone and Camillo Casola

The hypocrisy of the Western aid regime

20 September 2019

Tobias Hagmann and Filip Reyntjens

IWD: How democracy is failing women

8 March 2019

Susan Dodsworth

Africa in 2017: The political road ahead

23 January 2017

Nic Cheeseman

The myth about democracy in Africa

8 September 2016

Nic Cheeseman

One thought on “Democracy in Rwanda

  1. After 10 months of doc fieldwork and living in Rwanda (rural village and Kigali), it is clear to me that to discuss “Democracy in Rwanda” intelligently (e.g. not getting stuck with impassioned polar opinions), we need a new theoretical grid. That’s not the focus of my doctorate, but I’m happy to be part of the process of unpacking the topic.

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