CENI chairman Pierre-Claver Ndayicariye (standing in right) announces provisional results of the constitutional referendum before reporters and diplomats

BUJUMBURA May 23rd (ABP) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced on Monday May 21, 2018 in Bujumbura, the provisional results of the Constitutional Referendum of May 17, 2018 in which the “Yes” to the draft of a new Constitution won with 73.6% of the votes cast, while the “No” vote totaled 19.34%. The invalid ballots represent 4.11% and the abstentions 3.28%.

According to Pierre Claver Ndayicariye, chairman of the CENI, of the 5,000 742 registered and announced after the enlistment, the final voters’ file gave 4,768,142 voters. 4,576,296 of them expressed their votes for or against the draft referendum, i.e. a participation rate of 96.4%.

The CENI chairman reported that there are 12.927 registered foreigners. At the level of this diaspora, the CENI has revealed that complete data from embassies and consulates general are not yet available. Thus, the CENI currently has three types of data. The first type of data concerns complete data already used by the CENI, the second type of data is related to incomplete data for which the CENI requested clarification from the embassies and consulates for better exploitation and the third case concerns diplomatic missions whose results have not yet reached the CENI. However, Ndayicariye said that this 0.27% vote in the diaspora is in no way likely to influence the percentage counted among voters in the interior of the country.

The CENI chairman expressed feelings of satisfaction and gratitude to all the voters who contributed to the success of the Referendum. Through the hills and neighborhoods of the country, “they considered the date of May 17, 2018 as the feast of democracy and national dignity,” said Ndayicariye. The date was celebrated, according to him, as the sublime expression of political pluralism between the “Yes” and the “No” supporters. Very early in the morning, Mr. Ndayicariye continued, a striking, dignified and honorable phenomenon caught the attention of the CENI and its branches. Across the country, most voters were seen before 6:00 am, lined up in calm and discipline, waiting for the signal from polling station members to fulfill their civic duty. By 1:00 pm, voters had voted at 85%.

Through its chairperson, CENI paid a heartfelt tribute to the government, which took full charge of the referendum budget. “This decision honors the Burundian people and strengthens national independence. Beyond the technical gesture of financing the activities related to the Referendum, the experiment shows a political will, a demonstration of a considered choice and a confirmation of possible, “he said. Thus the chairman of CENI announced that the commission will transmit without delay the results of the referendum to the Constitutional Court which will verify its regularity. Article 77 of the Electoral Code stipulates that the official proclamation of results by this court must take place no later than the 9th calendar day, from the date of their transmission.

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