Politics

Burundi: Politicians disagree over 17 May referendum running

After the 17 May referendum, Burundians are still waiting for the results from the National Independent Electoral Commission. However, politicians do not converge on the way the referendum was run. Pierre Célestin Ndikumana, chairman of the Parliamentary group of MPs from the coalition of Independents “Amizero y’Abarundi”, says there was no election. “It’s a masquerade, a fabrication and a game,” he says.

Pierre Céléstin Ndikumana: “It's a masquerade, a fabrication and a game,”

Pierre Céléstin Ndikumana: “It’s a masquerade, a fabrication and a game,”

Ndikumana says the provisional results tend to give victory to ‘the vote for’ the constitutional amendment. He, however, says the counting was done in the presence of the members of the ruling party-CNDD-FDD only. “Our political supervisors were targeted to be arrested. They were accused of teaching people to vote “No” in queues,” he says. Ndikumana says it was a well-prepared and nationwide plan. “People voted for others even though they were not mandated to do so’, he says.

The chairman of the Parliamentary group of MPs from the coalition of Independents “Amizero y’Abarundi’ also says that other members of the coalition have been arrested before the election.
Pierre Célestin Ndikumana urges the international community not to endorse the outcome of the referendum.

On behalf of Uprona party, Abel Gashatsi says the referendum process went well although people were strongly sensitized. “Burundians were on time. Security forces ensure the polling stations well and the political supervisors were also present,” he says. He also says any case of irregularity has not been reported throughout the country. Gashatsi called on all Burundians in general, and its Uprona supporters in particular, to respect the referendum results. “Politicians must also understand that people continue to live even after elections. Respecting the results of vote is very important,” he says.