Rwanda: the senate president resigns

Rwanda: the senate president resigns

The President of the Rwandan Senate resigned on Thursday evening for health reasons. Dr. Augustin Iyamuremye is replaced on an interim basis by his vice-president, which makes Rwanda a country whose two chambers of parliament are led by women. Last September, he visited Burundi. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

First, it is the Rwandan parliament that announced the news of the resignation of the president of the senate.

“Earlier in the day this Thursday, the President of the Senate, Dr. Augustin Iyamuremye, gave his resignation as President of the Senate and as a Senator, for health reasons”, says in part a statement from the Rwandan Parliament published on Thursday evening.

The parliament added, “On Friday, December 9, a special plenary session convened to declare vacant the office of the President of the Senate.”

In his letter of resignation sent to the vice-presidents of the Senate and to members of the Senate, Iyamuremye expressed his gratitude to Rwandan President Paul Kagame for the confidence placed in him, and thanked senators for their support during his tenure.

“I resign from the post of president of the senate … for health reasons because I have to take the time to get treatment without hindering the proper functioning of the senate. I take this opportunity to ask for forgiveness where I have not fulfilled my duties well. However, I will continue to give my support even outside the box”, ex-senator Iyamuremye now detailed.

A former cabinet minister and a prominent member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Iyamuremye took office as Senate Speaker in October 2019.

Visit to Burundi

Last September, Dr. Iyamuremye Augustin visited Burundi as part of the renormalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries of the Great Lakes of Africa.

It was his Burundian counterpart, Emmanuel Sinzohagera who received him in audience.

“We have just granted an audience to the Rwandan delegation led by Hon. Iyamuremye Augustin, President of the Senate. Our discussions focused on relations between our respective countries, and he invited us to take part in the session of the IPU parliament next October,” said Mr. Sinzohagera.

And a delegation of Burundian deputies responded to this invitation, also received in the office of the resigning president of the Rwandan senate.

“We are confident that the good friendships will return soon, and it is our people who will benefit most. A commendable gesture will be made shortly as we discussed with the Burundian deputies”, had in turn said Dr Iyamuremye.

Within two months, the borders between the two countries were officially reopened.

At the head of the upper house of parliament, the 76-year-old man is the number two in the country after the President of the Republic. Iyamuremye resigns after presiding over the closing of the regular Senate session on Monday this week.

The 26 senators have up to 30 days to choose the new president of this chamber.

In the meantime, Espérance Nyirasafari, vice-president of the Senate in charge of legislation and government control, is expected to lead the chamber on an interim basis.

It should also be remembered that the Chamber of Deputies is also chaired by a woman.

President Kagame is expected to appoint a new senator to replace Dr Iyamuremye until the end of the term in 2024.

Iyamuremye’s political career spans four decades. Since 1994, he has held various Cabinet portfolios, including Agriculture, Information and Foreign Affairs.

He also served in the first senate for eight years and served as a presidential adviser, among other roles.

Before joining the Senate in 2019, Iyamuremye was the president of the Rwanda Elders Advisory Forum.

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