Stakeholders in upcoming elections concerned over electoral process

The National Independent Electoral Commission-CENI has met this April 21, all stakeholders involved in the elections starting this May 20 to discuss the electoral process. Participants have raised concerns related to electoral campaign which is about to get started.

Participants in the meeting organized by the CENI

Annociate Niyonkuru, Deputy Chairman of the National Independent Electoral Commission has said the electoral campaign will start on 27 April and end on 17 May.

“All stakeholders in the upcoming elections have 21 days to run electoral campaigns. They must abide by the electoral code. Otherwise, sanctions will be imposed,” she has said, adding that each province will have its own specimen. “Not all candidates are represented in all the provinces,” she also said.

Dieudonné Nahimana, an independent candidate running for president has asked when candidates are allowed to publish messages on the billboards.

“Some candidates have already published their posters on billboards. Is that legal when the presidential decree announcing the beginning the electoral campaign is yet to be issued?” he asked.

For him, there is need to shed light on the right time and places where those billboards shall be established.

As for Léonce Ngendakumana, presidential candidate for Sahwanya FRODEBU Party, administrative officials should also intervene to prevent any potential trouble in the electoral period. “There are young people who often interfere in the administrative affairs. Local officials must be vigilant and regulate those activities. Otherwise, they will create chaos,” he has said.

Gabriel Banzawitonde, APDR Chairman has said the electoral body would distribute the specimen in all provinces, although some political parties may not be represented in each province. “We have party members in those provinces,” he said.

Pierre Claver Kazihise, CENI Chairman has said the electoral body is ready to handle all electoral issues according to the electoral code. “All party leaders must sensitize their members on the election process. We don’t want to collect spoiled ballot papers,” he said.
That meeting organized by the National Independent Electoral Commission was attended by presidential candidates, leaders of political parties, provincial governors and security forces.

On May 20, Burundi will organize three combined polls which are the presidential, legislative and the communal councilors’ elections.