BUJUMBURA July 8th  (ABP) – The organic law n ° 1/11 of May 20, 2019 amending the law n ° 1/20 of June 3, 2014 on the electoral code (EC) in Burundi, stresses the conditions “required” to be a voter at the level of “common provisions” to all types of elections.

This law, enacted on May 20th by Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza, is the legal tool put at the disposal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), to organize the next general elections of 2020.

The first poll, scheduled for May 20, 2020, will be marked by the organization of three types of elections, namely the presidential election to elect the President of the Republic of Burundi, the parliamentary elections to elect the MPs and communal elections to elect the communal advisors.

Thus, according to the Electoral Code, in the next elections, the voters will be Burundian citizens, male and female, aged eighteen “over” at the polling date; who “shall not be in one of the cases of electoral incapacity” provided for in this electoral law.

The electoral incapacity can be “temporary” or “final”, sometimes subject to certain provisions of this electoral law that will govern the 2020 elections.

Article 5 of that law provides for a few categories of persons who may be affected by a temporary electoral incapacity.

Indeed, this electoral law enacted on May 20, 2019 points the finger at particular people placed in “preventive” detention in accordance with the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code, and persons placed in detention “in execution of a sentence of main criminal servitude or subsidiary or in execution of a constraint per individual”. This law also provides that persons “interned or hospitalized by reason of insanity” are subject to temporary inability to vote.

As for Article 6 of this law, it stipulates that for a convicted person on “parole”, their electoral incapacity remains until the expiry of a period equal to the period of incarceration they still have in subject to the date of release on parole.

On the other hand, at the level of Article 7 of this electoral law; and subject to the provisions of Article 8 of this electoral law, repeat offenders convicted of electoral offenses are subject to “final” electoral incapacity.

Article 8 stipulates in paragraph 1 that the effects of pardon, amnesty or rehabilitation are determined in accordance with the principles laid down respectively by some provisions of the Burundi criminal code enacted in 2009. The second paragraph of this article brings a nuance nevertheless, emphasizing that, pending the conclusions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the persons “having benefited from the provisional immunity” continue to enjoy their civil and political rights “notwithstanding the possible sentences pronounced”.

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