ENJEUX POLITIQUES FACE AUX ELECTIONS DE 2010

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ENJEUX POLITIQUES FACE AUX ELECTIONS DE 2010 Powered By Docstoc
					                Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
                    Former Chief of State
                           Senator
                         Consultant


[Unofficial Translation: Original French text available online at
                     www.PBCUpdate.org]




                  The 2010 Elections:
    THE SOCIOPOLITICAL CONTEXT, CHALLENGES AND
             CONDITIONS FOR CREDIBILITY




                 BUJUMBURA, 14 APRIL 2008
                                        Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
                                               Former Chief of State
                                                    Senator
                                                   Consultant
     ==============================================================================
INTRODUCTION

Following the inception and implementation of the peace and reconciliation process in Burundi as described in the
Arusha Accord for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi—comprising the foundation for Burundi's political culture
after almost half a century of conflict—the 2010 elections will constitute a crucial stage in the consolidation of
peace and democracy in the country. The people of Burundi are hopeful that the elections will provide them with
another chance to select their Chief of State through direct universal suffrage. This right was dramatically
compromised by the coup d'état of 21 October 1993, which pushed Burundi into the longest, most complicated
and deadly crisis that the country has ever known. Burundians also hope to elect their community administrators
through a democratic process. This is another right that was usurped from the people more than forty years ago,
the last time that the local governors responsible for the communes were elected through direct and universal
suffrage which led to Burundi regaining national sovereignty on 1 July 1962.

Given these elements, the electoral process is highly symbolic in the country, as it represents political
participation for local Burundians. Moreover, the elections will be held in the context of a ―trial legislature‖ that
attempts to realign itself with the democratic model in the redistribution of political power. Burundians therefore
have high expectations that the 2010 elections will be well planned, organized, and conducted in a way that will
serve to consolidate public peace and order in the country.

However, as some may be aware, the issue of elections has already provoked much uncertainty and uneasiness
vis-à-vis the political, social and security situation of the country. The principal concern is the following: In a
sociopolitical and security situation that remains to be adequately “demined,” will the 2010 elections turn
into another 1965 or 1993, providing the “professionals of destabilization” an opportunity to drive the
country back into political and institutional instability? The dangerous ingredients for such a situation are all
the more present today, in a country that has not yet completely escaped from conflict and is constantly reminded
of war’s gruesome atrocities. The people’s hopes cannot possibly be realized unless the Government of Burundi
and the PALIPEHUTU-FNL immediately reengage in the peace process, among other factors.

This remains the primary source of concern. Before discussing other aspects of the issue, I must fulfill a moral
obligation: I express my thanks and congratulations to COSOME for organizing this day of reflection. The
organization has launched an important debate on an issue that involves a wide range of actors and key
stakeholders, some of them behaving irresponsibly before the rules of the game have been collectively fixed and
agreed on. The behavior of the direct and indirect stakeholders at our meeting today will surely have an influence,
whether positive or negative, on the future of peace and democracy in Burundi. The debate on the 2010 elections
must be conducted in an organized way.

What are the challenges facing the 2010 electoral process given the current sociopolitical context of Burundi?
How should national actors behave before these challenges? How could a national strategy be conceived and
implemented in order to correct the technical and legal loopholes revealed by the 2005 elections? I would also
add that the 2005 elections revealed other political and institutional shortcomings that must be addressed. What
role can COSOME and other civil society organizations play to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated, and to
guarantee free elections in 2010 that uphold the essential principles of transparency, equality, justice and
democracy?

The debate today seeks to address these questions and explore possible solutions.




                                                                                                                   1
            82-83 Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagasore B.P. 1727 Bujumbura – République du BURUNDI
          TEL : -257 22 21 94 (D) -257 22 24 76 53 (B) - 257 22 25 86 86 (FAX)- 257 79 942 656 (PORTABLE)
                                              E-mail : ntibasy@yahoo.fr
                                       Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
                                              Former Chief of State
                                                   Senator
                                                  Consultant
     ==============================================================================
Chapter I
THE SOCIOPOLITICAL CONTEXT IN BURUNDI ON THE EVE OF THE 2010 ELECTIONS:
CONCERNS, UNCERTAINTIES AND QUESTIONS IN THE POLITICAL AND SECURITY DOMAINS

The various characteristics of the sociopolitical context of Burundi today can be categorized as either positive or
negative.

Some of the negative elements include:

    1. Persistent insecurity due to a high level of violent criminality, one of the chronic consequences of the
       country’s prolonged conflict situation that lasted over a decade;
    2. Weapon proliferation among civilian populations and the unsuccessful demobilization policy, including
       the concern that certain individuals or political clans, who refuse to adhere to democratic principles, may
       take up arms to agitate and/or remobilize militias in an attempt to advance their self-interests in the
       competition for political power;

    3. The failure of governments after 2001 to follow through with the transition as outlined by the Arusha
       Accord for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi. This failure is due most notably to:

             a) The delays in integrating into the peace process the oldest armed political movement, the
                PALIPEHUTU-FNL, which has battled every government in place since the faction’s creation in
                1980,

             b) Conflicts resulting from this situation, in addition to the unresolved shortcomings of the
                country’s demobilization policy and its capacity to train its new security and defense corps,

             c) The stalling in the implementation of transitional justice mechanisms, notably the Truth and
                Reconciliation Commission and the Special Tribunal for Burundi,

             d) Dissatisfaction in the rehabilitation and reintegration process of civilians affected by the
                Burundian conflict, particularly IDPs and those who repatriated, and the subsequent emergence
                of complex land issues.

                 The Arusha Accord expected these issues to have been adequately addressed by the time the
                 country became engaged in the post-transition electoral process, but the challenges remain
                 unresolved;

    4. Extreme poverty. Burundi currently ranks among the three poorest nations of the world. This is due to
       multiple factors: lack of rule of law; the consequences of war; the general economic climate of the
       nation, and the agro-pastoral sector in particular; climactic shocks and poor economic decisions;

    5. Bad governance. Globally, Burundi is ranked among the top five nations most affected by bad
       governance. This is evidenced by the deterioration of state institutions; corruption and embezzlement at
       the most rampant levels that the history of Burundi has ever known; a culture of impunity even regarding
       crimes against humanity and war crimes, past or present; and other weaknesses in the process of
       consolidating the rule of law;

    6. A deterioration of the political landscape over the past decade. The political culture has not seen any
       innovations with regards to its history, ideology, political practice or behavior. On a fundamental level,



                                                                                                                 2
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         TEL : -257 22 21 94 (D) -257 22 24 76 53 (B) - 257 22 25 86 86 (FAX)- 257 79 942 656 (PORTABLE)
                                             E-mail : ntibasy@yahoo.fr
                                       Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
                                              Former Chief of State
                                                   Senator
                                                  Consultant
     ==============================================================================
        the key actors from political parties and institutions have not changed at all. Despite public criticism in
        the past, they continue to propagate the same undesirable customs and behaviors1;

    7. An African Great Lakes region where peace, security, stability and development have yet to be
       consolidated, despite the relative progress made since the end of the 20th century. The 20th century was
       scarred by the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the civil war in Burundi that erupted in violence including
       severe crimes against humanity and war crimes, and finally the war in Congo, which implicated several
       African countries and also saw crimes against humanity and war crimes;

    8. A population which remains largely illiterate and traumatized by the multiple consequences of a conflict
       caused by poor social, civil and political leadership.

    Burundian life has seen positive changes over the past few years, but can they compensate for the negative
    elements? This is up to each individual to decide. The positive aspects might include:

    1. The recognition of dialogue as the appropriate model for conflict resolution, although the concept may be
       difficult for some to comprehend or accept. This is an accomplishment that must be built upon, rather
       than rejected or manipulated;
    2. The emergence and consolidation of fora for expression, action and affirmation in the battle against
       ideological and political monotheism. In particular:

             a) The preservation and reinforcement of a multiparty culture;

             b) Encouragingly dynamic media, particularly in audiovisual media;

             c) A dynamic and responsible civil society;

             d) An increasingly strong culture of labor unions;

             e) Strong moral convictions—especially in churches and the ―Order of the Bashingantahe‖—to
                remain engaged in the fundamental issues facing the country;

             f)   Youth who are increasingly conscious of national challenges, and who protect themselves from
                  the dangers of manipulation; and

             g) Women who are increasingly engaged in the organization and management of political and civil
                activity…

    3. The security and defense corps that embody the reconciliation process and the rebirth of the State,
       despite numerous difficulties in the initial phases of restructuration. Burundians owe it to each other to
       recognize and congratulate the security and defense corps for setting an example of tolerance and
       mutual acceptance for the national community through their integration process, which has progressed
       without major incidents,

    4. The rejection of violence as a means of expression and protest, even when certain
       reprehensible and questionable aspects exist in the country's governance. Some of you will
       remember a report that the President of the Republic himself likes to cite, proclaiming that “it
       is the first time in Burundi's history as an independent nation that a Chief of State or an elected
       government official has remained in office for more than three months”!


1Concerning bad governance, impunity, corruption, and embezzlement as well as violations of human rights.
                                                                                                                 3
           82-83 Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagasore B.P. 1727 Bujumbura – République du BURUNDI
         TEL : -257 22 21 94 (D) -257 22 24 76 53 (B) - 257 22 25 86 86 (FAX)- 257 79 942 656 (PORTABLE)
                                             E-mail : ntibasy@yahoo.fr
                                          Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
                                                 Former Chief of State
                                                      Senator
                                                     Consultant
     ==============================================================================
Chapter II
WHAT IS AT STAKE IN THE 2010 ELECTIONS

Given this sociopolitical context, what is at stake in the elections of 2010? In Burundi, as in any other country, the
improvement of the population’s living standards is a major concern. However, it is not uncommon that political
stakeholders hope instead to exert an influence on sub-regional, regional and/or international politics through
domestic elections. This has been the case for few elections in Africa, perhaps with the exception of those that
led to the independence of former colonies, such as the elections that liberated South Africa from apartheid.
Another underlying factor is domestic realpolitik, involving the exchange of power between elites competing for
political control in an attempt to advance their material interests.
The forthcoming 2010 elections in Burundi must contribute to political and social stability, the consolidation of
good governance, and the improvement of customs and practices of both citizens and political elites. In this
manner, the country’s institutions will finally acquire the political will and capacity to actively resolve
socioeconomic problems that continue to burden the daily lives of Burundian citizens.

The main challenge today is to accurately identify the political, social and judicial measures that must be taken to
ensure:
     free, fair, transparent, and therefore democratic elections;
     elections whose outcomes are respected;
     elections that will allow for competent, patriotic local and national authorities with the capacity to create
        and implement policies promoting the ethnic, sociological, social and geographic diversity of the country;
     elections that will serve to consolidate the rule of law;
     elections that will contribute to the revitalization of the image of Burundi in Africa and the Great Lakes
        region in particular, as a country that successfully recovered from a deadly and extremely complex
        conflict; in other words, elections that will restore the trust of donors and the international community.

There are certain prerequisites that must be met to ensure free and transparent elections that would contribute to
the sociopolitical stability and economic development of the country.

I have highlighted key priorities in the areas of national security, politics and law.

In the security domain, it will be necessary to:

    1. Actively address the issue of the PALIPEHUTU – FNL. FNL combatants must be demobilized and/or
       reintegrated into the defense and security corps. The movement must be transformed into a political
       party that respects the Constitution. The FNL has made demands for a power-sharing agreement, but
       the details remain unclear. What actions should be taken to resolve this issue?
    2. Remove or minimize the temptation to rearm, through civil society engagement2. We must remember to
       systematically destroy weapons that have been confiscated from those involved in armed conflict;

    3. Make every effort to achieve the consolidation of national principles, political neutrality and
       professionalism within the security and defense corps, as well as political parties and individuals
       engaged in the electoral process.

In the political domain, the following questions must be addressed:

    1. What steps should be taken to ensure that corrupt candidates responsible for atrocities committed
       during the civil war are excluded from participation in the 2010 elections?



2        This entails a “demobilization of the mind.”
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            82-83 Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagasore B.P. 1727 Bujumbura – République du BURUNDI
          TEL : -257 22 21 94 (D) -257 22 24 76 53 (B) - 257 22 25 86 86 (FAX)- 257 79 942 656 (PORTABLE)
                                              E-mail : ntibasy@yahoo.fr
                                       Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
                                               Former Chief of State
                                                    Senator
                                                   Consultant
     ==============================================================================
    2. How can we protect the country’s governance from corruption and embezzlement? Over the past
        decade, corruption has emerged along with ethnic and regional tensions as a major threat to political
        and social stability. High levels of corruption are draining the already meager state resources, at a
        moment when the country most needs them. How can the 2010 elections serve to curb this threat?

    3. What actions should relevant stakeholders take or avoid, in order to resolve destructive party politics? A
       dynamic and constructive multiparty culture should be at the core of the electoral process. It is clear that
       political and institutional instability is due in large part to the incoherencies plaguing political parties,
       especially those perceived as the most influential3. Political parties must behave responsibly to ensure
       that the institutions emerging from the 2010 elections will be credible and sustainable. Institutions must
       not only be stable and fully operational, but also run by well integrated, patriotic citizens, who are ready
       to seriously address the numerous political, economic and social challenges facing the nation. The
       citizens of Burundi are waiting for solutions to all of these issues.

    4. How can we make political parties understand that there is an urgent need for national unity? Given the
       current political context, it is possible that none of the five major players4 will obtain a parliamentary
       majority, which would otherwise allow a single group to monopolize political control. The political parties
       that are expected to participate in the 2010 elections need to understand the importance of a solid
       governmental coalition?
    5. Beyond these general moral, political, and operational issues of political leadership, there are other
       important questions that require a political consensus before they can be addressed within the
       Constitution and relevant laws.

        The following questions span multiple levels of responsibility and functions:

             a) At the Presidential Level
                Article 96 in the Constitution stipulates that the President of the Republic ―is selected through
                universal direct suffrage for a five-year term, renewable for one term.‖ Given the diversity of
                ethnic groups and political parties in Burundi, the Constitution also states that ―in the exercise of
                his functions, the President of the Republic is assisted by two vice-presidents.‖ The First Vice-
                President will ―ensure the coordination of political and administrative domain‖ while the Second
                Vice-President is responsible for supervising the ―coordination of economic and social domain‖
                (Article 122). They are appointed by the President of the Republic ―after being preapproved…by
                the National Assembly and the Senate…‖ (Article 123). Vice-presidents must ―be of different
                ethnicities and political parties,‖ which should be taken into account in their respective
                nominations (Article 124). The following questions are currently being asked:
                         Will the President of the Republic, elected directly through universal suffrage, be
                            willing to cooperate with vice-presidents who might not necessarily adhere to his
                            program? There are potential conflicts here, but how can they be avoided?
                            Reinstating the post of Prime Minister? Considering vice-presidential fellow
                            candidates during presidential elections?

                            Some suggest that we must reassure the ―Tutsi community‖ that it will not be
                             unilaterally excluded from this function. It has also been repeatedly suggested that
                             the ethnicity of the head of state alternate from term to term, or that the vice-
                             president be of a different ethnicity and political affiliation than that of the elected
                             President. Can this question even be addressed at present?




3       Namely the CNDD – FDD, SAHWANYA – FRODEBU, and UPRONA
4       The CNDD – FDD, SAHWANYA – FRODEBU, PALIPEHUTU – FNL, and UPRONA
                                                                                                                   5
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         TEL : -257 22 21 94 (D) -257 22 24 76 53 (B) - 257 22 25 86 86 (FAX)- 257 79 942 656 (PORTABLE)
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                                     Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
                                            Former Chief of State
                                                 Senator
                                                Consultant
    ==============================================================================
          b) At the Parliamentary Level

               The Deputies
              Article 164 of the Constitution stipulates that deputies are ―elected through direct universal
              suffrage for a five-year term.‖ It also states that deputy elections will follow a first round of
              ―blocked list‖ elections with quotas for ―proportional representation. [Candidate listings] must be
              of a multiethnic nature, and they should take into account the balance between male and
              female candidates. For every three candidates listed on the ballot, only two can be of the same
              ethnicity. At least one out of four candidates must be female‖ (Article 168). It is also stipulated
              that in cases where the results of the election do not reflect the required percentages for ethnic
              and gender balance, ―a corrective procedure will ensue [with the use of a] cooptation
              mechanism as devised by the electoral code‖ (Article 164). The Independent National Electoral
              Commission takes measures to correct ―the observed imbalances by according those political
              parties and independent candidates that attained at least 5% of seats [in the National
              Assembly] a number of supplementary deputies of the underrepresented ethnicity or gender
              equal to those needed to achieve the proper balance‖ (Article 129). The Constitution states that
              ―the mandate of the deputies... has a national character,‖ that ―all imperative mandates are null‖
              and that ―the deputies' and senators' votes are individual‖ (Article 149).

              Some consider that the ―blocked list‖ system favors clientelism, or corruption, and compounds
              incoherencies. Given this situation, the following ideas have been suggested:

                         Hold deputy elections through uninominal, direct, universal suffrage and the
                          ―blocked list‖ system. Otherwise, how can we guarantee the ethnic and gender
                          balance required by the Constitution?

                         Hold elections through a uninominal, direct system instead of the ―blocked list‖
                          system. Each political party will exercise its mandate individually. The current
                          situation handicaps political parties in relation to the deputies that are in office. It
                          has been proposed that if the ―blocked list‖ system were to remain in place, the
                          Constitution must be amended to stipulate that any deputy leaving his/her party
                          will automatically lose his/her seat in the National Assembly, and will be
                          unilaterally replaced by a party-affiliated substitute.

                         Cooptation is a political act, and should be managed by an organ other than the
                          Independent National Electoral Commission in order to preserve its neutrality. The
                          Constitution currently gives the Senate the authority to ―control the execution of
                          constitutional dispositions associated with the balance of ethnic…and gender
                          representation in all structures and institutions of the State, notably in the public
                          administration sector and the security and defense corps‖(Article 187-5). What
                          capacity-building measures can be taken to enable to the Senate to exercise this
                          power5?

                  The Senators
                   Article 180 indicates that they are ―elected by an electoral college made up of members of
                   the community councils of each province.‖
                   Does the Senate, with its current composition as dictated by the Constitution and the
                   Electoral Code, have sufficient capacity to control the execution of constitutional
                   dispositions associated with the balance of ethnic, regional, political and gender


5     The same applies to the composition of the cabinet
                                                                                                                6
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       TEL : -257 22 21 94 (D) -257 22 24 76 53 (B) - 257 22 25 86 86 (FAX)- 257 79 942 656 (PORTABLE)
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                                        Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
                                               Former Chief of State
                                                    Senator
                                                   Consultant
     ==============================================================================
                  representation in all structures and institutions6 of the State, notably in the public
                  administration sector and the security and defense corps? (Article 187-5) This is especially
                  problematic if the Senate is controlled by a single political party that is equally dominant in
                  other institutions (the National Assembly or the Cabinet). How then could the composition
                  of the Senate be modified to alleviate these concerns?

             c) At the Community Council and Local Administration Level

                     The Community Council Members
                      Article 265 of the Constitution stipulates that they are ―elected by direct universal suffrage.‖

                      The articles concerning the political affiliations of deputies and cooptation apply to
                      community council members as well.

                     The Community Administrators
                      Article 266 indicates that ―at the end of the first round of elections, each Community
                      Council will elect a Community Administrator...‖ The article continues: ―the National
                      Assembly and the Senate can conduct an assessment of the selected Administrator, and
                      may require a general election of the Administrator through direct universal suffrage.‖ The
                      question is when the Parliament will conduct this assessment. A community administrator
                      elected by the Community Council can also be removed by the Council itself at any given
                      point in time. Community administration also suffers problems of corruption and
                      accountability                                                                      issues.
                      A Community Administrator elected in a general election through direct universal suffrage
                      would find him/herself in a more comfortable position. This reform should quickly be
                      implemented.

                      The Community Administrator is responsible for managing a ―centralized administrative
                      entity‖ to promote social and economic development in the community. As such,
                      Administrators should be educated and technically competent.

             d) At the Colline Council Level
                Article 265 stipulates that ―they are elected through direct universal suffrage.‖ The colline
                council members are responsible for promoting social cohesion and ensuring that the
                population has access to basic health, housing, water, education. Technical training and
                capacity-building should be carried out for colline council members.

    6. Before concluding this section, three technical issues need to be addressed:

             a) Firstly, the electoral archive should be regularly updated in accordance with evolving national
                demographics. The first stage is already in progress, with the goal of registering those who
                were between the ages of 13 and 17 in 2005, and who will have reached the age of 18 in 2010.
                Those who have passed away since the 2005 elections will be removed from the archive.

             b) The second issue concerns the order of the different elections. Should they take place one right
                after the other, or should there be intervals? Should multiple elections be held on the same day,
                and if so, which ones?



6         This indicates the National Assembly, the Cabinet, public administration, local authorities, and the
security and defense corps. The electoral calendar should be organized so that the Senate is the first national
institution to be established. The composition of the Senate will therefore precede community council elections.
                                                                                                                     7
           82-83 Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagasore B.P. 1727 Bujumbura – République du BURUNDI
         TEL : -257 22 21 94 (D) -257 22 24 76 53 (B) - 257 22 25 86 86 (FAX)- 257 79 942 656 (PORTABLE)
                                             E-mail : ntibasy@yahoo.fr
                                       Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
                                              Former Chief of State
                                                   Senator
                                                  Consultant
     ==============================================================================
           c) The third issue concerns the ballots. Should we keep the system used in the 2005 elections, or
               should there be a single bulletin for all candidates and parties? At this time, the single bulletin
               seems to be more practical. What are the pros and cons of this format?

Chapter III
WHAT STRATEGY SHOULD BE EMPLOYED TO RESPOND TO SUCH CONCERNS? HOW CAN
WE LEARN FROM THE 2005 ELECTIONS AND ADDRESS THE OPERATIONAL AND JUDICIAL
FLAWS OF THE BURUNDIAN ELECTORAL SYSTEM?

    1. Uncertainty, fears and questions that already surround the 2010 elections compels us to choose a
       strategy to be adopted, for the purpose of minimizing the risks and avoiding subsequent clashes and/or
       outbreaks of conflict. I am proposing a strategy based on the following actions:

             a) Call on the evaluating mechanism of NEPAD for an objective evaluation of the nature of
                governance in our country; make proposals for its improvement before and at the time of the
                2010 elections, and engage, from the outset, all partners concerned (state institutions, political
                parties, media, civil society, religious entities and the Order of the Bashingantahe…) in the
                application and the respect of these proposals7.

             b) Stabilize and ensure the normal and regular operation of state institutions and services8. The
                different actions to be taken in order to guarantee free, transparent, just, equitable and
                democratic elections in 2010 are indispensable to the good health of state institutions. In this
                respect, it is indispensable to:

                     Stabilize the presidential branch, equally at the level of the President of the Republic
                      himself9 and that of his vice-presidents; and stabilize the offices of the National Assembly,
                      the Senate and the Government until the next elections. Reshuffling must not intervene in
                      these institutions except when the Government must take necessary actions to put into
                      practice the peace accord between the PalipeHutu-FNL movement and the Government of
                      Burundi;

                     Rapidly remove the incoherence that reigns in the political and institutional life of Burundi,
                      where parties10 participating in Government simultaneously practice oppositional policies
                      against the Parliament. Clarity, loyalty and honesty must replace the current paradigm of
                      power. The parties participating in Government must constitute, rather, a parliamentary
                      majority which supports the President of the Republic in the application of all aspects of
                      political partnership, in accordance with the leaders of these parties who contributed to the
                      formation of this Government. To this end, the President of the Republic and the leaders of
                      the parties must rely on a functional and viable framework, destined to guarantee the
                      renewal and the consolidation of their ―political partnership‖ through good management of
                      their relationships. Thus, they would avoid the dysfunctions and discord observed in the
                      organization and operation of the two chambers of Parliament and Government.


7
  It seems that an evaluation of gender, observed in Kenya’s case, identified and evidenced the same problems
which provoked the post-electoral crisis in Burundi and face Burundian governance today. If the proposals that
were made had been put into practice, the crisis, it seems, could have been avoided.
8
  These are comprised of the presidential branch, the legislative branch or the Parliament, the executive branch or
the Government, the judiciary branch, and the Defense and Security Forces.
9
  It has been reported by certain sources that there may exist tactics within the frame of the political and
institutional crisis with the purpose of weakening the presidential branch.
10
   The SAHWANYA-FRODEBU and UPRONA parties.
                                                                                                                  8
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         TEL : -257 22 21 94 (D) -257 22 24 76 53 (B) - 257 22 25 86 86 (FAX)- 257 79 942 656 (PORTABLE)
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                                         Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
                                                Former Chief of State
                                                     Senator
                                                    Consultant
     ==============================================================================
               On the other hand, the different partners must make more efforts in both their initiative and
                  actions, in strengthening the independence of judiciary power and the professionalization of
                  the defense and security organs.

              c) Improve the security situation in the country through the convincing and viable application of
                 the peace accord between the Government of Burundi and the PlipeHutu-FNL; efficient and
                 viable conduct in disarmament policy, and a more driven fight against crime that weighs upon
                 the country, including the resort to a more draconian and rapid repression, under the condition
                 that it respects the Constitution and the laws in effect.
              d) Activate mechanisms of transitional justice, starting with frameworks for the preparation and
                 organization of popular debates, in view of the establishment of the ―Truth and Reconciliation
                 Commission‖ and special judiciary structures that could be called on to judge grave crimes
                 committed in the past.

              e) Establish a commission to objectively monitor all the security, political, judicial and practical
                 problems to be addressed, in order to ensure that the 2010 elections are free, transparent, just,
                 equitable and democratic. The commision could be composed of eminent personalities from
                 political, moral, media and academic spheres11.

              f)   Hold a ―National Forum,‖ organized around the report of the commission, and which convenes
                   representatives from political parties, moral spheres (churches and the Order of the
                   Bashingantahe), civil society (particularly organizations that defend human rights, and those
                   active in the promotion of good governance and rule of law), youth and women’s organizations,
                   media professionals, labor unions… to validate the national strategy proposed by the
                   Commission for the free, transparent, just, equitable and democratic elections of 2010.

              g) Put into practice, through institutional structures and other partners related to the elections,
                 strategies conceived by the National Forum, in order to guarantee free, transparent, just,
                 equitable and democratic elections in 2010. Some of these strategies would most likely be:

                      The establishment of a National Independent Electoral Commission, that would be
                       responsible for other applications of the strategies conceived by the National Forum, most
                       notably:

                             The actualization of the electoral record,
                             The sensitization of the population on electoral issues and trends
                             The improvement and creation of instruments for the elections…….

                      The mobilization of material and financial means that are necessary for the organization of
                       these elections. We must begin now to reflect on possible mechanisms of publicly
                       financing12 electoral campaigns, in order to contribute to the protection of national political
                       life from financial corruption and embezzlements;

     2. In this context, the role of civil society, particularly that of COSOME, could be to:


11
   We may also call upon independent consultation. However, this approach would have the disadvantage of not
being able to directly implicate personalities from a wide range of backgrounds, and whose propositions would
carry more political weight.
12
   This also goes for the necessity to organize public financing for political parties to protect them from bribery.
Donors, who support Burundi in the process of the consolidation of peace and democracy, may be solicited to
assist the Government in this activity.
                                                                                                                    9
            82-83 Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagasore B.P. 1727 Bujumbura – République du BURUNDI
          TEL : -257 22 21 94 (D) -257 22 24 76 53 (B) - 257 22 25 86 86 (FAX)- 257 79 942 656 (PORTABLE)
                                              E-mail : ntibasy@yahoo.fr
                                        Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
                                               Former Chief of State
                                                    Senator
                                                   Consultant
     ==============================================================================
        a) Comprise a strong, that is credible, movement to apply pressure on state institutions, political
           parties and other actors related to the elections, to ensure that necessary political, security and
           judicial decisions are made for successful elections in 2010 of a free, transparent, just, equitable
           and democratic nature;

         b) Apply all of its moral weight to protect, and call on future elected institutions to render justice to
            those charged with grave crimes of blood committed in the past, particularly those committed while
            holding positions within state institutions; or those charged with corruption and embezzlement;

         c) Organize itself, starting now, to construct:

                     Solid and credible observation mechanisms for the electoral process in its different stages,
                      from the preparation (and its diverse aspects) to the organization of the actual vote;

                     Efficient frameworks for the observation and evaluation of the actions of institutions, arising
                      from the election; these include informing the public, particularly the voters, on the actual
                      relationship between electoral promises and practices in the country’s post-electoral
                      governance.



CONCLUSION

Ladies and gentlemen, these are some of the reflections that I had to share with you on the challenges and
issues surrounding the 2010 elections. The objective of the organizers of this event is to ―lead to the diffusion of
potential tensions and to maintain the course towards the triumph of democracy and human rights.‖ It is through
dialogue that such reflections would evoke reaction from different partners in these elections, and that this
objective could be realized.

                                                                                                     I THANK YOU.



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                                          Bujumbura, 14 avril 2008




                                                                                                                 10
            82-83 Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagasore B.P. 1727 Bujumbura – République du BURUNDI
          TEL : -257 22 21 94 (D) -257 22 24 76 53 (B) - 257 22 25 86 86 (FAX)- 257 79 942 656 (PORTABLE)
                                              E-mail : ntibasy@yahoo.fr