Amizero y’Abarundi coalition complains of exclusion in meeting on electoral code

Agathon Rwasa, Chairman of the Coalition of Independents “Amizero y’Abarundi” deplores that the Ministry of Home Affairs didn’t invite the coalition to attend the meeting on the electoral code process. “We are not invited because the current constitution excludes us like many other Burundians,” says Rwasa, the first deputy speaker of the National Assembly, adding that the country has been confused with political parties.

Agathon Rwasa: “Elections concern everybody. They are not just a matter for some political parties”

Mr.  Rwasa is also concerned that the electoral code would create problems as the current Constitution did. “Among the criteria that all political parties, independent people and coalition’s candidates must respect, there is the act of depositing amount of BIF 500, 000,” he says.  The chairman of Amizero y’Abarundi coalition doesn’t understand how an individual should deposit a sum of money equal the amount to be deposited by political parties or coalitions.

Agathon Rwasa also says that the current Constitution, before its promulgation, stipulated that before submitting a list of MPs from the coalitions of independents or political parties, the latter must get 2% of the total of vote throughout the country.

He, however, says the promulgated Constitution reveals that an independent candidate such as an MP must have 40% of the total of vote in his area. “I don’t understand how the candidacy of an independent should be considered at high rate of vote in a given constituency while candidacies from political parties and coalitions are considered at a low vote rate throughout the country. I wonder if we are not going to have two National Assemblies,” he says.

For Agathon Rwasa, the government continues to establish laws alone without other participants: “Elections concern everybody. They are not just a matter for some political parties. Not all the people involved in the elections are members of political parties,” he adds.

Tharcisse Niyongabo, Assistant to the Minister of Home Affairs says the meeting preparing the electoral code is scheduled for 4 January in Gitega Province. He said, without giving more details, that the ministry has invited leaders of political parties.