Rwandan International Olympic Committee member Felicite Rwemalika is currently the Acting President of RNOSC ©Getty Images

The Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC) has brought its Presidential election forward to before Tokyo 2020 after a reported backlash from sports federations.

RNOSC was due to elect a new leader on October 9 following the resignation of Valens Munyabagisha, who stepped down earlier this month.

However, the ballot will now be held on May 8 with The New Times reporting opposition to the later date from local sports bodies.

The rescheduled vote will be before the rearranged Tokyo 2020 Olympics which are set to take place between July 23 and August 8, one year later than planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Munyabagisha and the rest of the ruling RNOSC members would reportedly have remained in office until August if the October election date was kept. 

But RNOSC confirmed the decision to move the vote forward at an Extraordinary General Assembly on April 17.

This reversed the confirmation of the October date which was announced on April 3 at an Ordinary General Assembly.

"I was one of those who left earlier before the Ordinary General Assembly concluded because I was not happy with the decision to hold elections after the Olympic Games because I think it was against the provisions of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) rules and regulations," said Jean Baptiste Murema, the President of the National Paralympic Committee of Rwanda, to The New Times.

Rwandan IOC member Felicite Rwemalika is currently the Acting President of RNOSC.

 "This is the important time to live the Olympic values by staying united and making sure that Team Rwanda's preparations ahead of Tokyo 2020 are not disputed," she said.