Controversies arise over constitution amendment

While political parties and the coalition of independents are running the campaign for the referendum since 2 May 2017, some people still think it was not the appropriate time.

“This is the time to build the country not to run campaigns”

“This is the time to build the country not to run campaigns”

Egide, a member of FRODEBU party says the former Constitution was the best one as it successfully put an end to ethnic divisions. “The Constitution which was adopted in 2004 is still applicable and appropriate. It brought back peace and stability in the country and helped end the ethnic divisions. Today is not the best moment to amend it,” he says

Eric, another member of the same party, says it is not a propitious time to amend the Constitution. “This is rather the time to build the country not to run campaigns”.

As for a member of CNDD-FDD party, the new constitution comes to reinforce peace and development in the country. “Our children study for free and we live in a peaceful country. Maybe the new constitution will help foster the country’s development,” he says.

Léonce Ngendakumana, Deputy Chairman of Sahwanya FRODEBU, says there are other problems that constitute a stumbling block to the country’s life and therefore should be handled first. “The new constitution does not bring any solution to the population’s problems. There are political problems, civil society organizations which were banned from operating in the country… This is just a political game intended to oppress the population”.

Benjamin Ndagijimana, Secretary General of CNDD-FDD party in Bujumbura city says the new constitution comes to value more the population and make clear confusing points that were in the former constitution. He appeals to the population to vote for the new constitution which will reinforce their independence. “This is a way of reinforcing our independence. Vote for this constitution to show colonizers that we decide our fate”.

The referendum campaign began on May 2ndand is due to end on May 14, two days prior to the referendum day.