5 April 2018

Burundi: Unnecessary Alarmism Around the Constitutional Reforms in Burundi

analysis

On May 17 2018, Burundian citizens using the referendum vote, will decide whether their country will adopt a new constitution or remain with the old and controversial one. In order to allow all political stakeholders to have a say on the constitutional reforms, the government will need to ensure there is an even playing field. Hopefully, this will reduce tensions and add more credibility to the vote. By PATRICK HAJAYANDI.

In the run-up to the referendum, a lot of contradicting views have emerged regarding the real motivation behind the upcoming constitutional reform and the timing of such an important political event. Some political analysts and commentators argue that the main purpose of the new constitution will be to allow the incumbent president to extend his tenure in office. They go as far as to prophesy on a possible outbreak of deadly violence.

A number of other people support the process arguing that Burundi, has full rights to organise such a political consultation of the population. They also point out, the need to review a constitution which has been criticised for containing a number of loopholes and numerous conflicting interpretations. Indeed, the position of the constitution on some aspects is sometimes...

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