CENI to plead for easy access to documents required for upcoming elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission held on 7 February a meeting with representatives of political parties as well as independents who will participate in the upcoming elections scheduled for May 2020. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the application guidelines for candidates.

Pierre Claver Kazihise, chairman of CENI

All politicians have raised the issue relating to the difficulties they encounter to obtain the documents required to submit their candidacies. They say some documents are difficult to obtain because they are expensive and only issued in some provinces.

CENI requires a photocopy of the identity card, a residence permit, a certificate of criminal record which is issued in five provinces of the country, an attestation of good conduct, life and morals as well as a physical fitness certificate.

The leaders of the political parties asked CENI to reduce the documents required, especially to leave out the criminal record certificate and residence permit. “These documents are expensive and difficult to get,” says Kefa Nibizi, chairman of FRODEBU.

Pierre Claver Kazihise, chairman of CENI indicates that the law must be respected and finds that omitting those documents is not important, rather facilitating access to these administrative documents.

“We are going to ask the administrative authorities to grant these documents to candidates in time,” says Kazihise. He also promised to request the Ministry of the Interior to facilitate access to these documents. “CENI cannot act on the price of the documents,” says Kazihise, who reassures that the Ministry of the Interior in consultation with the Burundian Revenue Office will take measures to facilitate the acquisition of these required documents.