CNARED: “Constitutional referendum aims to undermine democracy”

Following the three-day conclave, members of the executive board of the main platform of the Burundian opposition in exile (CNARED) calls on the President of the Republic of Burundi to not submit the draft of the new Constitution to the referendum.

The new CNARED Executive Board will be chaired by Jean Minani

Jean Minani, chairman of CNARED “Do not cross the red line”

Jean Minani , Chairman of CNARED, calls on Burundians and the international community to join forces to dissuade the government from amending the Constitution. “It would be crossing the red line. We must not change the current Constitution, we must respect it, “he says.
The outcome of the upcoming constitutional referendum does not engage and will never engage the Burundian people according to him. “The people will vote ‘no’ to this constitution to be amended but it is the ” yes ” that will prevail”.

For CNARED chairman, the objective of this constitutional referendum is to break the Arusha Agreement and to totally undermine democracy in Burundi.
Edouard Nduwimana says this draft constitution respects the Arusha Agreement arguing that submitting it to the referendum is a way to promote democracy. “I call on everyone to vote ‘yes’ when the time comes,” says Burundi Ombudsman.

However the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) says the campaign to tell people to vote “yes” or “no” has not yet come. “This campaign will start 14 days before the polling day scheduled for May 2018,” says Prosper Ntahorwamiye, Spokesman for the CENI.
He reminds that the campaign to explain the content of the new draft constitution to the population is being carried out exclusively by the members of the government or any other delegated personality.

By Abbas Mbazumutima and translated by Lorraine Josiane Manishatse

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