CENI validates electoral centers in Bujumbura province and Bujumbura city

In a conference held on June 20th, Burundi National Independent Electoral Commission-CENI has chosen and validated electoral centers in Bujumbura province and Bujumbura city.

Pierre Claver Kazihise (on the left) says electoral centers are important in the election process.

“Over 180 out of 2911 districts had no electoral centers for the 2018 constitutional elections,” says Pierre Claver Kazihise, Chairman of the National Electoral Commission-CENI. We want to identify new places which can help in the 2020 electoral process, he adds.

He says CENI is holding preliminary sessions to prepare the personnel, places, materials, financial means… so as to get ready for the upcoming elections. “We want the 2020 elections to be good, transparent and fair to satisfy everyone,” says CENI Chairman.

Mr. Kazihise says CENI wants to know and choose available places which are closer to people. “We don’t want voters to go very far from their homes,” he says.

The current agenda is therefore “to identify and choose places which will serve as centers during the enrollment of voters and elections.”

However, Mr. Kazihise says “only those who were not registered in 2017 are concerned with the upcoming enrollment session”.

He says there have been prior talks with the population, representatives of political parties, the civil society, religious leaders, youth, etc. to prepare fair elections. “Talks are not yet finished, they will resume soon,” he says.

“Over 3800 centers were used in 2018 constitutional referendum. The number is likely to increase in 2020,” says Mr. Kazihise. CENI collaborates with the local administration and school representatives to identify those places.

The sessions of choosing and validating electoral centers have started in the province of Bujumbura and in Bujumbura city. They will continue in other provinces to make a census of all centers throughout the country which will be used in 2020 elections.

Elections are scheduled for mid-2020. The National Independent Electoral Commission says it will release the electoral calendar as soon as possible.