European Union is urging
Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government to institute an independent electoral
commission to ensure a free and fair vote in future elections. But the main
opposition FRODEBU says the ruling party is not interested in ensuring a fair
vote. The opposition party claims President Nkurunziza’s government has
consistently refused to participate in meetings with other opposition parties
aimed at constituting an independent electoral commission for future elections.
The government, however, dismissed the accusation as without merit. From the
capital, Bujumbura FRODEBU spokesman Pancrase Cimpaye tells reporter Peter
Clottey that international pressure should be brought to bear on President
Nkurunziza’s government to ensure a free vote in the country.
“The position of FRODEBU is
that since last year we‘ve been asking for an independent committee for
elections. Unfortunately, the CNDD-FDD (ruling party) refused to set up such a
committee. Now, the problem is that the CNDD-FDD is refusing with other
opposition parties so that we can talk about the timetable for the election in
2010,” Cimpaye noted.
said the government should be pressured to have an independent electoral
commission instituted ahead of any election.
of the problems that we have with the government is regarding the electoral
commission. But if the European Union can put pressure on Nkurunziza’s
government, I think we can have an independent electoral committee it would be
a nice thing,” he said.
said pronouncements by government officials suggest the ruling party is not
interested in ensuring a credible election.
are very sure that the electoral commission could be set up, but it won’t be an
independent one. Maybe the members of the electoral commission would not be
independent and it would only be members of the CNDD-FDD. The opposition
parties and the European Union are all asking for an independent electoral
committee, but what we are seeing today is that the president of the republic
is trying to cheat. And we are sure that the members of that committee would be
members of the CNDD-FDD,” Cimpaye pointed out.
said his party expressed its dissatisfaction with the government’s lack of
enthusiasm to institute an independent electoral commission to the European
Union in a recent meeting.
we had a meeting with the special envoy of the European Union, when he met with
the our party president and we gave our point of view. We said to him that we
are afraid that the government is not too interested in having a credible
election. We also told the special envoy that we need the international
community, especially the United Nations, to be involved in subsequent
elections. Otherwise, we are going to have exactly the same situation we saw in
Kenya and exactly the bad situation we are watching in Zimbabwe because they
have exactly the same behavior,” he said.
reiterated the opposition’s suspicion of the government’s determination to hang
on to power.
you are talking to some members of the ruling CNDD-FDD party they tell us that
they didn’t go to the bush so that they will rule the country for just five
years only. But that they went to the bush so that they can lead the country
for more than 10 years. That means that they will do whatever they can do so
that they can cheat and win elections,” Cimpaye noted.
2005 election that ushered President Pierre Nkunrunziza to power was organized
by an electoral commission, which was then disbanded and has not been replaced.