15 December 2017

Burundi: CENI Calls for Applications to Establish Provincial Electoral Commissions for Upcoming Referendum

The President of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), Pierre Claver Ndayicariye calls for candidacy for the establishment of independent provincial election commissions (CEPI) so as to organise the referendum for the amendment to the Constitution.

Pierre Claver Ndayicariye has met this Friday, 15 December with representatives of political parties, religious denominations and civil society. The latter have five days to send files of their candidates to national independent election commission. Each organization will present three candidates per province and the closing date is 20 December.

However, Ndayicariye says political, associative or religious associations which don't have competent members in each province should not send their applications.

According to Mr.Ndayicariye, the basic criteria remain ethnicity, gender and education.

Archbishop Evariste Ngoyagoye says the period given to submit applications is very short. He fears that some people might not have enough time to submit all the required documents within the set deadline.

Prosper Ntahorwamiye, member of the CENI, says "it is a disguised way to eliminate those who are not available". He argues that the required documents are supposed to be always at the disposal of the applicants.

Ndayicariye asks the electoral partners on the spot to send competent and responsible candidates. "Bring responsible men and women," insisted Ndayicariye.

According to the president of the CENI, the mandate of the CEPI will be six months and a decree of the commission will specify the starting date. The referendum will take place in May 2018 and a decree will fix the date.

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