Legislative Branch Reform: Arusha Accord - 4 August 1993

Article 9

The "Conseil National de developpement" (CND) shall remain in Office until the Transitional National Assembly is established. However, as from date of signing the Peace Agreement, it shall not enact laws.

Protocol of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front on Power-Sharing within the Framework of a Broad-Based Transitional Government (Continuation of the Protocol of Agreement signed on 30th October, 1992)

Section 2: Transitional National Assembly

Article 60

The Transitional National Assembly shall, except in the case as provided for in Article 63 of this Protocol of Agreement, be normally composed of seventy (70) members called "Deputies to the Transitional National Assembly". The "Deputies" shall be appointed by their own political forces and their mandate shall cover the whole Transitional Period. The Transitional National Assembly shall make its own rules of procedure.

Article 61

All the political parties registered in Rwanda at the signing of this Protocol as well as the RPF shall be represented in the Transitional National Assembly, on condition that they adhere to and abide by the provisions of the Peace Agreement. To that effect, all these parties and the RPF should, prior to the establishment of the Broad-Based Transitional National Assembly and the Broad-Based Transitional Government, sign a Political Code of Ethics whose principles are spelt out in Article 80 of this Protocol.

Since the RPF and the political parties Participating in the current Coalition Government are automatically, directly or indirectly bound, as a result of the Protocol of Agreement on the Rule of Law signed by the two parties to the negotiations, the political parties which do not participate in the said Government should, from the time of the signing of the Protocol of Agreement on Power-Sharing, demonstrate their commitment to abide by the principles governing the Protocol of Agreement on the Rule of Law, to support the peace process and to avoid engaging in sectarian practices and in any form of violence. Such commitment shall constitute a prerequisite for their participation in the Transitional National Assembly and it is incumbent upon the two parties to the negotiations to see to it that such commitment is real.

Article 62

The numerical distribution of seats in the Transitional National Assembly among the political forces, subject to the implementation of the previous Article, shall be as follows:

MRND: 11 seats
RPF: 11 seats
MDR: 11 seats
PSD: 11 seats
PL: 11 seats
PDC: 4 seats

The other registered parties shall have one (1) seat each.

Article 63

a) The maximum number of members of the Transitional National Assembly shall become the total number of seats of the remaining political forces if, for one reason or another, one or several political forces do not participate in the forming of the Transitional National Assembly, or withdraw from that assembly, provided that the total number is not reduced to less than two-thirds of the number stipulated under Article 60 of this Protocol of Agreement.

b) If one or several political forces do not participate, or cease to participate in the Transitional National Assembly, and the number of Deputies falls below that stipulated in the above paragraph, the remaining political forces participating in the Transitional National Assembly shall consult and agree on the modalities for the composition of the new National Assembly.

Article 64

A "Deputy" may resign. In this case, his political party shall replace him in consultation with the Bureau of the Transitional National Assembly.

Article 65

All compulsory mandates shall be null and void. The right of the "Deputies" to vote shall be individual.

Article 66

The first session of the Transitional National Assembly shall be devoted to administering the oath of the "Deputies" and to electing the Bureau of the Transitional National Assembly.

Article 67

The Bureau of the Transitional National Assembly shall be composed of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and a Secretary.

Article 68

The PSD and PL political parties shall each present one (1) candidate for the post of Speaker of the Transitional National Assembly. The political party that will not have taken the post of Speaker shall present two (2) candidates for the post of Deputy Speaker of the Transitional National Assembly.

The PDC and other political parties which do not hold any ministerial portfolio in the current Coalition Government shall each present one (1) candidate for the post of Secretary.

Voting for the above-mentioned posts shall be by secret ballot and on the basis of an absolute majority of the "Deputies" present.

Article 69

The Transitional National Assembly shall automatically hold, each year, three (3) ordinary sessions of three months each, followed each time by a one (1) month parliamentary leave. When circumstances may so require, the Transitional National Assembly shall hold extraordinary sessions. The first ordinary session shall begin 15 days after the "Deputies" to the Transitional National Assembly have taken oath of office.

The Transitional National Assembly shall be convened by the Speaker. It may be convened in extraordinary session upon the initiative of the President of the Republic, The Speaker, the Prime Minister or following the decision taken by its members on the basis of an absolute majority. When it is convened in extraordinary session, the Transitional National Assembly shall deal wit h only those issues that motivated its convening Whenever an ordinary or extraordinary session of the Assembly is convened, the agenda and venue shall be indicated. Before any proceedings, the Transitional National Assembly shall adopt its agenda and decide on the urgency of the matters to be discussed. A "Deputy" or the Prime Minister may request the urgent consideration of an item. When the request is made by the latter, the matter in question shall automatically be considered as urgent.

Article 70

The status of a Deputy shall be incompatible with the holding of a Ministerial portfolio and the exercise of any other remunerative activities.

Article 71

Members of the Transitional National Assembly who may be finally sentenced by Courts for criminal offences shall automatically lose their seats. In this case, they shall be replaced in accordance with the provisions of Article 62 of this Protocol.

Article 72

The legislative power shall be exercised by way of laws passed by "Deputies" in the Transitional National Assembly as well as by Orders in Council passed by the Broad-Based Transitional Government in cases of emergency or when the Transitional National Assembly, is unable to convene.

Article 73

Ordinary laws shall be passed on the basis of an absolute majority of the Deputies present. Organic laws shall be passed on the basis of a 3/5 majority.

Article 74

For any lawful seating to be held, a quorum of 2/3 of the members of the Transitional National Assembly shall be required.

Article 75

Sessions of the Transitional National Assembly shall be public; the minutes of the debates shall be published. However, upon request of the Speaker, or the Prime Minister or of one third of its members, the Assembly may, by an absolute majority, decide to sit in camera.

Section 3: Relationship between the Transitional National Assembly and the Broad-Based Transitional Government

Article 76

The Prime Minister, upon a decision of the Cabinet and after consultations with the Bureau of the Transitional National Assembly, may request the President of the Republic to dissolve the Transitional National Assembly. The dissolution cannot take place within the last three months of the Transition.

Article 77 Replacement of the members of the Transitional National Assembly shall be done as per the numerical distribution of seats referred to under Article 62 above. The replacement of each of the members of the Bureau of the Transitional National Assembly shall be made by election in accordance with Article 68 of this Protocol of Agreement.

Article 78

The Transitional National Assembly shall be endowed with the following means of control over government activities:
- Oral Questioning
- Written Questioning
- Committee Hearing
- Commission of Inquiry
- Interpellation
- Motion of censure.

An organic law shall determine the conditions and procedure for this control.

Article 79

The Transitional National Assembly may question the conduct of the Broad-Based Transitional Government as well as that of a Minister or Secretary of State, by voting on a motion of censure against the Prime Minister or any other member of the Government. Such a motion is not admissible until after questioning and unless it is presented by at least one fifth of the members of the Transitional National Assembly in the case of a Minister or a Secretary of State, and by one third of the members in the case of the Government. The motion of censure shall be adopted by secret ballot and by a 2/3 majority of the "Deputies" present.

The vote of a motion of censure against the Prime Minister shall entail his resignation and that of the Government. In this case the replacement of the Prime Minister shall be made in accordance with Article 53 of this Protocol of Agreement. The outgoing Government shall dispose of the day-to-day matters until a new Government is formed.

Implementation History

1993

No Implementation

No developments observed this year.

1994

Full Implementation

The Arusha Accords created a multi-party Transitional National Assembly to replace the single-party National Council for Development. After taking power, the RPF installed a power-sharing Transitional National Assembly which was established on 25 November 1994. Of the 70 seats in the National Assembly, the RPF had 19, the MDR 13, the PSD 13, the PL 13, the PDC six, the PSR two, the PDI two, and the final two seats went to other parties.1 The 11 MRND seats were redistributed among various parties but six seats were kept for the army, a decision not provided for by Arusha. This multi-party Transitional National Assembly continued until the composition of the assembly was rebalanced. In the rebalanced Transitional National Assembly, the MDR had 13 seats, the PSD 13, the PL 13, the PDC six, the RPA six, the PSR two, the PDI two, and the other two seats went to other parties.2

1995

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1996

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1997

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1998

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1999

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2000

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2001

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2002

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

postscript: Elections for the National Assembly took place on 29 September 2003 and brought with them the termination of the tenure of the Transitional National Assembly.