BUJUMBURA November 1st (ABP) – Representatives of approved political parties in Burundi pledged on Wednesday October 30, 2019 in Bujumbura “for the preservation of peace” during the 2020 electoral process.
This commitment was made during a day of exchange on “the preservation of peace during the 2020 electoral process” organized by the Alert and Conflict Prevention Center (CENAP), in partnership with the Forum of Political Parties (FDP) in Burundi.
In 2020, Burundi is organizing multiparty general elections, the first three of which are scheduled for the same date on May 20, 2020, namely the presidential election, the elections of MPs and the elections of communal councilors.
FDP Leader Félicien Nduwuburundi took the opportunity to commend the commitment of all Burundi political parties to ensure that Burundi should hold peaceful elections in the coming year. “I am particularly pleased that the leaders of around 30 legally recognized political parties to date have committed themselves to work hard to identify all potential sources of conflict that could hinder the smooth conduct of the forthcoming elections”, said Nduwuburundi, who is also chairman of the National Commission of Land and Other Property (CNTB).
To date, the FDP already brings together 29 political parties including the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Defense Forces for Democracy (CNDD-FDD), the ruling party.
Political party leaders’ pledges for “effective tolerance” in the political arena augur hope for a “peaceful and credible” electoral process, he said.
Thus, to prevent acts of intolerance on the political ground of Burundi, the leaders of the political parties also undertook to be closely involved “so that the fury and confrontation that would persist here and there” between members of different Youth leagues affiliated to approved political parties cease rapidly throughout Burundi’s territory.
On the record of progress on the “good” coexistence between political parties before the six months left for the holding of elections, the statistics show a “considerable decrease in the intensity of the fury between the ruling party activists and some activists of opposition parties, including those of the National Congress for Freedom (CNL), the FDP leader said.
“As proof, we are currently witnessing on the political ground of Burundi that instead of confrontations among political party activists, they put forward a contradictory debate in a serene atmosphere on the problems that could arise in connection with the current election process,” he said.
However, he acknowledged, there are still challenges in this process at the militant bases of political parties.
“Indeed, the collaboration at the top of the political parties is very good; however, at the level of the militant bases, the activists of the different political parties are overzealous,” he said.
To rectify the situation, the FDP leader recommended political party leaders “to closely monitor” their respective activists.
To young political party activists, Mr. Nduwimana urged them to “increase vigilance” and to draw political lessons from previous electoral processes “which slipped with disastrous consequences for civil peace”.
On her part, the Deputy Director of the CENAP, Mrs. Libérate Akimana, had previously pointed out that as Burundi is preparing for the 2020 elections, the experience from the previous elections, in this case those of 2015 which resulted in a political crisis, “still haunts all memories”.