BUJUMBURA April 13th (ABP) – The Ministry of the Interior and Patriotic Education held a meeting on April 11, 2018 in Bujumbura, to bring together leaders of political parties to inform them about the behavior to adopt during the electoral referendum campaign.

In his address, the Minister in charge of the Interior, Mr. Pascal Barandagiye, first indicated that the political and security situation is good in the country. He called on political parties to help safeguard peace and security, fight against prohibited drinks, corruption, fraud, common-law marriages and all other causes of insecurity. The state of voluntary repatriation of refugees is also satisfactory, he said, announcing that 170,000 refugees have already returned voluntarily.    Minister Barandagiye reminded that the election campaign for political parties will begin in May 1, 2018 and that political parties will have the same space for the activity, whether the parties that teach to vote Yes or No.

As a result, he urged the local administrative officials to respect the rights of those political parties. Whoever ignores this recommendation will be punished in accordance with the penalties provided, warned the Minister of the Interior. The political parties are in turn called upon to give their programs of activities of the campaign in time so that the administrative officials can organize those appointments in order to avoid that they do not cross on the same ground

CENI delegate Prosper Ntahorwamiye explained the state of preparations for the constitutional referendum. He reported that 26 political parties, three independents and one coalition have already registered at the CENI for this appointment.

As for voters, five million voters were enlisted, including 216,264 young people who have not yet reached the age to elect. Provisionally, the number of voters who will vote in the referendum of May 17, 2018 is four million eight hundred thousand. Regarding the markets, Mr. Ntahorwamiye said they were won by the Burundians despite some materials they import from abroad. Currently, the materials that will be used in the referendum elections are already available, and their distribution up to the country, starting with the heavy equipment, will begin next week. Police forces to secure these materials will be available, he said.                                                                                                  The CENI will make available for the political parties a report for the supporters of the Yes and another for the supporters of the No. They advocated 450 people per polling station, Ntahorwamiye said, adding that the number of contingencies (journalists, military and police who will accompany some executives and vote where they have not registered) should not exceed 50 people per polling station. Political party leaders indicated that their attention is then focused on elections.

At the end of the meeting, a resolution of what they agreed at the meeting was signed between the Ministry of the Interior and the leaders of the political.

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