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 The Parliament

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PostSubject: The Parliament   Tue 21 Dec 2010, 08:35

The Parliament, which consists of two chambers, makes legislation. The Chamber of Deputies has 80 members serving five-year terms. Twenty four of these seats are reserved for women, elected through a joint assembly of local government officials; another three seats are reserved for youth and disabled members; the remaining 53 are elected by universal suffrage under a proportional representation system.[63] Following the 2008 election, there are 45 female Deputies, 56% of the total, making Rwanda the only country with a female majority parliament.[64] The 26-seat Senate is the upper chamber, selected by a variety of bodies, and including a mandatory 30% women. Senators serve eight-year terms.[65]
Chamber of Deputies

Rwanda's legal system is largely based on German and Belgian civil law systems and customary law.[54] The judiciary is independent of the executive, although the president and the Senate are involved in the appointment of Supreme Court judges, and the courts sometimes face pressure from the government.[66][67] The constitution provides for two types of court - ordinary and specialised.[68] Ordinary courts consist of the Supreme Court, the High Court and regional courts, while specialised courts are military courts and Gacaca courts, a traditional system which has been revived to expedite the trials of genocide suspects.[69]

President Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) has been the dominant political party in the country since 1994. The RPF has maintained control of the presidency and the Parliament in national elections, with the party's vote share consistently exceeding 70%. The RPF is seen as a Tutsi-dominated party but receives support from across the community, and is credited with ensuring continued peace and stability.[70] Human rights organisations allege, however, that the government suppresses the freedoms of opposition groups by restricting candidacies in elections to government-friendly parties, suppressing demonstrations and arresting opposition leaders and journalists.[71][72]

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