Politics

Burundi: Opposition demand new CENI team to be impartial

During the handover between the new and former teams of the National Independent Electoral Commission this 18 September, Pierre Claver Kazihise, new chairman of the commission called on all political partners especially the opposition to collaborate for the smooth running of the 2020 electoral process. He said CENI should do what it takes to associate all stakeholders in the process of organizing the elections.

Pierre Céléstin Ndikumana: « The members of the provincial and communal electoral commission must be reliable and include all members from all political parties”

Pierre Céléstin Ndikumana: « The members of the provincial and communal electoral commission must be reliable and include all members from all political parties”

Pierre Céléstin Ndikumana, chairman of the group of MPs from the coalition of independents “Amizero y’Abarundi” says the opposition has always worked in collaboration with the National Independent Electoral Commission-CENI. “We attended all meetings and workshops on the electoral process organized by the electoral commission and we were always kept informed about the process”, he says.
He, however, says the National Independent Electoral Commission has never considered the opposition like the ruling party in its activities. “The outgoing CENI never considered the issues reported from the ground by the opposition”, he says.

He also says the outgoing electoral commission didn’t consider the opposition in the establishment of CENI communal members. “The commission only considered the members of the ruling party and its allies”, he says.

Pierre Céléstin Ndikumana calls on the Electoral Commission to be impartial and work transparently. “The members of the provincial and communal electoral commission must be reliable and include all members from all political parties so that their work be credible”, he says.

As for Léonce Ngendakumana, Deputy Chairman of Sahwanya FRODEBU party says the new electoral commission wouldn’t prepare free and fair elections when there are no peace and free space for political parties or when some civil society organizations or media houses are not operational. He also says there are about 500,000 Burundians who are still living in exile while others are illegally detained.

Ngendakumana says the chairman of the National Commission would firstly invite Burundi government to attend the dialogue session and agree on the roadmap to 2020 elections. “Otherwise, the commission will work for the ruling party and will not consider the opposition to undertake its activities’, he says.