9 August 2017

Burundi: Amizero Y'abarundi Coalition MPs Demand Fair Treatment

The "unfair" treatment of some MPs from Amizero y'abarundi coalition and other members from opposition parties has been repeatedly asked by MPs during the session of oral questions to the Minister of interior in Burundi National Assembly.

Some MPs complain about their treatment. They appeal to the Minister of the Interior to treat them fairly. "It arouses suspicion every time two people from Amizero y'abarundi coalition sit together. Some have been jailed accused of holding illegal meetings. We want to know why such an unjust treatment" This question was repeatedly asked by different MPs during the session of oral questions this Tuesday 8th August 2017.

The Minister of the Interior, Pascal Barandagiye, said that everybody is free to go into politics in Burundi. However, he reminded them that there are rules and regulations that govern political institutions "Everyone has the right to be engaged in politics but the law must be respected as well. For MPs who have been treated unfairly, I want to remind them that nobody deserves unfair treatment. You, as MPs, represent people. You have to report every single case of injustice"

About the question of illegal meetings, MP Pierre Celestin Ndikumana asked the reason why members of the coalition are not allowed to hold meetings. He asked if ever there could be the review of some laws governing the coalition "There is a high risk of end of politics for independents from Amizero y'Abarundi coalition. We are not allowed to hold meetings. Isn't there any possibility to make some revisions so that we can be permitted to hold meetings as others?" he asks.

The answer given by the Minister of the Interior was that meetings of coalitions are only allowed during election period. "Unfortunately, we follow the law. You all know that a coalition is only allowed to hold a meeting during election time. As for the review of the law, it is not something that can be done so easily. You know that as you are the ones who vote laws."

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