Politics

« Government not ready to suspend referendum process, » says Home Affairs Minister

In the meeting with the leaders of political parties grouped into the Forum of Political Parties-FDP this 11 April, Pascal Barandagiye, Minister of Home Affairs has said the referendum process is ongoing and nothing can stop it.

Leaders of Political Parties grouped into the Forum of Political Parties have attended the meeting organized by the Home Affairs Ministry

Leaders of Political Parties grouped into the Forum of Political Parties have attended the meeting organized by the Home Affairs Ministry

“The government is today busy with the preparation and organization of the upcoming referendum scheduled for 17 May. It is not ready to listen to whoever whether from inside or outside the country seeks to disrupt the process,” he says.

Minister Barandagiye also says the office of the facilitation in the Inter-Burundian dialogue should not also suspend the process if ever it intends to.

For this, Pascal Barandagiye urges the leaders of political parties to be ready for the sensitization campaign for or against the draft constitution. “Leaders of political parties should submit their agenda throughout the country on time so that local administrative officials prepare the sensitization venues,” he says.

He, however, says the local administration must grant equal spaces for political parties that will preach for or against the constitutional amendment. “They must respect the position of the political parties. Otherwise, anyone who will destabilize them will be considered as a criminal,” he says.

Jean De Dieu Mutabazi, Chairman of RADEBU party raises concerns related to the support and treatment of political parties. The Minister says Burundi government will financially support the political parties which have MPs in the National Assembly. “However, if we get sufficient funds, political parties will receive part of financial support,” he says.

The agenda of the National Independent Electoral Commission shows that the sensitization campaign for or against the constitutional amendment will start on 1 May. “The campaign will last 14 days and two days prior to the referendum is reserved for the reflection period,” said Prosper Ntahorwamiye, CENI spokesman adding that 26 political parties, 3 independents and a coalition of the independent were registered at the Electoral Commission to run the sensitization campaign.

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