2 October 2017

Burundi: Budget Session Without Budget Bill

The National Assembly has opened its October ordinary session this 2 October. Sixteen bills will be analyzed and adopted by MPs.

In article 176 of the Burundi Constitution, it is stipulated that the National Assembly must start analyzing the budget bill at the opening of the October session. "This means that the priority of this session is particularly given to the analysis of the budget law for 2018. This is the budget session", says Pascal Nyabenda, Speaker of the National Assembly, at the opening of the October Ordinary session on 2 October.

He says the budget bill is not on the agenda transmitted by the government. The chairman of the National Assembly urges the government to do its best to make sure the bill reaches it as soon as possible so that MPs can have sufficient time to analyze and adopt it. Iwacu contacted the Finance Ministry for more details in vain.

Last week, the Minister of Finances, Domitien Ndihokubwayo announced the government is to be self-financing from 2018. He said they had looked into appropriate mechanisms of policy and tax administration to collect more financial resources following the government needs for sustainable development to finance the state budget at 100% through internal resources instead of 70, 3%.

Sixteen bills will be analyzed and adopted during the October ordinary session. Some of them are being analyzed in different commissions while other new ones are being transmitted by the government. One of them is the bill that the Republic of Burundi will ratify for the second time on the agreement of partnership between members of the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Community and its member states signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 and amended for the first time in Luxembourg on 25 June 2005.

In March 2016, the European Union, the main long-standing donor to Burundi, suspended its financial direct aid to the government including budget support, but has maintained its humanitarian aid and full financial support for the population. The conflict is between Bujumbura and the EU over the non-respect of the Cotonou Agreement.

The National assembly will also analyze and adopt the bill on the ratification by the Republic of Burundi of a Standby Force in East Africa and the bill on the Revision of the Criminal Code and that of the Criminal Procedure.

The bill on the revision of the Code of Criminal Procedure aimed to modernize the Criminal Justice system in order to eradicate crimes. The Minister of Justice, Aimé Laurentine Kanyana had said that, for some serious offenses, the search warrant will not be required and the night search will also be authorized. The project will also introduce a digital search that allows investigating authorities to search and retrieve data from computer systems. The current code of criminal procedure dating from April 2013 allows search operation from 6a.m. to 6p.m with search warrant.

The launch of October Ordinary session has been attended by MPs, Ministers, Diplomats and Consular representatives, etc.

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