Politics

Burundi: New CENI members approved without consent of all MPs

The National Assembly has approved seven members of the new Independent National Electoral Commission-CENI, namely Philippe Nzobonariba (Hutu), Annonciate Niyonkuru (Tutsi), Jean Anastase Hicuburundi (Hutu), Hyacinthe Niyonzima (Hutu), Serges Ndayiragije (Tutsi), Pierre-Claver Kazihise (Hutu)-, Marguerite Kamana (Hutu).

Members of Parliament have approved the new members of CENI while MPs from the coalition “Amizero y’Abarundi” boycotted the session

Members of Parliament have approved the new members of CENI while MPs from the coalition “Amizero y’Abarundi” boycotted the session

Two of them, Philippe Nzobonariba- spokesperson for Burundi government and Serges Ndayiragije- Minister of Communication and Media are members of the government while two others (Annonciate Niyonkuru and Jean Anastase Hicuburundi) were members of the outgoing CENI. Pascal Nyabenda, speaker for the National Assembly has indicated that the list of CENI new members has been sent by President Pierre Nkurunziza.

They have been approved with 91 votes in favor and one vote against. MPs from the coalition of independents “Amizero y’Abarundi” have boycotted the vote session.

Pierre-Céléstin Ndikumana, chairman of MPs from the coalition of Independents “Amizero y’Abarundi” says they have boycotted the vote for several motives. “We were not contacted before the session. If others were not contacted, there would be no problems”, he says adding that other colleagues were contacted to propose the members of the future Electoral Commission except the coalition of independents ‘Amizero y’Abarundi”.

MP Ndikumana also says Uprona party-pro-government, has two members in the future CENI while it only possesses two MPs in the National Assembly. “The coalition “Amizero y’Abarundi” is considered as the second political force in the Assembly referring to the composition of the National Assembly. However, we have only one member in the future CENI”, he says.

Abel Gashatsi, chairman of Uprona party appreciates the approval of the members of the future Electoral Commission. “We are sure that the 2020 elections will be transparent and free”, he says adding that Uprona party will support the commission. He also says considering its composition, members will work for the country’s interest.

For Tatien Sibomana, another political opponent says he is disappointed. “The current government has decided to use force since 2015,” he says before adding that the approval of the members of the new Electoral Commission is not consensual. “Despite different concerns raised, the opposition hasn’t been consulted”, he says.

The term of members of the current Electoral Commission will end on 5 September.

error: Content is protected !!