Politicians disagree on end of voters’ registration process

The National Independent Electoral Commission-CENI has indicated that there is no additional time for the voters’ registration for the 2020 elections. However, some politicians are still asking for it though others are satisfied.

Anicet Niyonkuru, chairman of CDP

Anicet Niyonkuru, chairman of CDP party deplores the measure taken by the National Independent Electoral Commission to completely end the voters’ registration. He says CDP party has always pleaded for the extension of the registration in vain. “Since our members started to return home at the beginning of December, CENI was aware of our issue. Burundian refugees continue to return home and need to be registered for the 2020 elections’, he says.

Otherwise, he says, the returnees will lose their moral rights whereas they made many efforts to return home. “It is very expensive to return home from exile. This decision cannot encourage them while the government continues to call upon refugees to return home”, he deplores.

CDP party chairman then calls upon CENI to review the decision and extend the registration period. “An additional time of at least one week will be enough for the voters who couldn’t register,” he says.

Gabriel Banzawitonde, Chairman of APDR party appreciates the ongoing achievements made by CENI. “It is respecting the convened schedule planned for the 2020 elections and we expect that other activities will also succeed,” he said. As CENI works for the general interest, he says, other measures will also be adopted to facilitate the electoral process.

Mr. Banzawitonde also mentions that all Burundians will not participate in the elections. “It often happens that those who registered don’t participate in the electoral process. So, those who didn’t register could not hamper the process”, he says. Referring to the schedule drawn up by CENI, he says, the decision should be reviewed for the benefit of all voters.

Pierre Claver Kazihise, CENI Chairman has said, at a press briefing this December 30, Burundian refugees will continue to return home but CENI cannot wait until the end of the repatriation programme. “There is a schedule to respect. Those who will miss these elections, they will participate in other elections. There will be no additional time for registering voters for the 2020 elections’, he said.

Pierre Claver Kazihise has also indicated that 117,863 new voters were registered for the 2020 elections and more than 26,000 corrections were made.