Ombudsman institution’s spokesman Juma Rukumbi

BUJUMBURA May 234th (ABP) – The institution of the ombudsman of the Republic declares that the referendum campaign was conducted in peace and security and welcomes the respect for freedom and political space that was observed during the campaign.

In a statement issued on Tuesday May 22, 2018, after the referendum poll of May 17, 2018, the institution claims to have closely followed the process of revision of the Constitution, from its referendum campaign until the poll.

The referendum campaign was led in peace and security throughout the country, Rukumbi said, adding the same body congratulates the media that did a professional job in covering the entire electoral process, where the fair coverage of the campaign as well as the live broadcast of the poll by 15 radios pooled in synergy allowed the process to proceed in full transparency, said Rukumbi.According to the spokesman of the institution, Mr. Juma Rukumbi, who read this statement, the institution welcomes, at the end of this process, the fact that political actors were allowed to run the campaign for a referendum. For this institution, this is a first, not only in Burundi, but in the region where it is customary for this activity to be conducted solely by governments, Rukumbi said.

The institution of the ombudsman is pleased, according to this spokesman, with the inclusivity that characterized the referendum campaign and the poll of 17th May 2018 where 26 political parties and the Amizero y’abarundi coalition took part in the campaigns and deployed their representatives at the polls, as well as other observers including civil society organizations. He said that the conduct of the campaign and the holding of the polls in a peaceful atmosphere reflect a high sense of political responsibility of political parties and other political leaders.

According to Mr. Rukumbi, the institution of the Ombudsman thanks the Government of Burundi for providing security throughout the territory of Burundi during the entire election period and indicated that the results of the referendum show the trend of the current political configuration in Burundi, from which the institution of the ombudsman urges the parties who took part in this election to take note of this verdict. It invites them to take those results into account in order to guide their efforts peacefully towards the next elections.

Through the same statement, the institution of the ombudsman calls on political leaders in exile to return home to prepare for the 2020 elections, as well Burundians living in refugee camps in the sub-region. To the Burundian citizens, it asks to remain united and serene. This institution asks the international community to accompany the Burundian people in the democratic process and encourages it to support Burundi in its development efforts. It recommends that the government continue to provide security and cohesion, which are prerequisites for holding forthcoming elections.

The institution of the ombudsman welcomes through the same statement, the Government of Burundi for having erected the dialogue by way of political, social and economic governance mode, and encourages it to continue this path to better prepare the 2020 elections.

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