Burundian political actors and parties today met in Bujumbura to discuss the implementation of the Roadmap towards the 2015 elections at a one-day workshop co-organized by the Burundi Ministry of Interior and the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB).
The Roadmap towards Burundi’s 2015 elections is a 42-points document adopted in March 2013. It entails recommendations aimed at creating a peaceful environment conducive for the holding of free, transparent and fair elections next year. Recommendations include, among others, the right for political parties to freely carry out their activities in compliance with the laws in force; the rejection of all acts of political violence, and of manipulation of youths affiliated to political parties; and the importance of reuniting the divided parties, in line with recommendation 25 of the Roadmap.
In his opening remarks, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Burundi, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, reiterated his appeal to political actors to combat youth manipulation as well as political violence and political intolerance. “Seize the opportunity of this new meeting and upcoming ones to continue your dialogue. It will help you address the divisions that still exist”.
SRSG Onanga-Anyanga also stressed the need for more efforts, “building on the what we have already achieved”, as he recalled some challenges such as limitations on the exercise of public liberties and the insufficient involvement of political parties and actors in the preparation of the electoral process.
For his part, Burundi First Vice President, Prosper Bazombanza, designed today’s workshop as the Government’s response to partners ’request. and part of the measures aimed to “improve the electoral legal and institutional framework.”
“You are requested to provide your contributions to ensure that in 2015 we move towards true inclusive, peaceful, free and transparent elections”, Mr. Bazombanza stated, adding that Burundian people were watching political parties and actors. The official also called upon parties to refrain from engaging “in an electoral campaign” until its effective commencement.
The Minister of Interior, Edouard Nduwimana, highlighted the positive results regarding the Roadmap’s implementation one and half year after its adoption, recalling several meetings and measures, including the recent adoption, by the Parliament of Burundi, of a consensual Electoral code. He reiterated the Government’s willingness to pursue dialogue with all political parties and actors.
The meeting, titled “the second evaluation of the Roadmap’s implementation”, brought together all political parties as well as representatives of civil society. The first assessment of the Roadmap was held from 27 to 29 November 2013, with participants adopting measures for the effective implementation of the document.
Two Burundi former Heads of State, as well as diplomats, attended the opening ceremony of the one-day workshop.