Government of Burundi to implement road map for elections with UN and international partners' support, says Minister
13 March 2013 – The Government of Burundi on Wednesday called for the support of the United Nations and international partners to implement a "road map for 2015 elections" adopted by the country's political actors at the end of an Electoral Lessons Learned workshop held on 11-13 March in Bujumbura.
In his remarks, Burundian Minister of Interior, Edouard Ndwimana, also announced the establishment of an implementation calendar, including the holding of thematic workshops as part of the inclusive political dialogue among all political actors and parties.
The road map was adopted at the end of the first meeting since the 2010 election aimed at discussing electoral issues. Representatives of more than 40 political parties and political actors, including some who left the country after the 2010 elections, gathered in the country's capital, Bujumbura, for the event. The 3-day workshop was organized by the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) and aimed at drawing lessons from the 2010 electoral process to determine elements for a road map towards the 2015 elections.
The document underscores the need for a security environment that would enable the holding of free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections; the right for all political parties to conduct their activities unhindered; the acceptance of election results; and the proscription of violence. The role of civil society and the media in promoting democracy as well as women's political participation are some of the other topics of the road map.
The document recommends the adoption of a consensual electoral code before the end of December 2013; an inclusive and consensual review of the legal framework for elections; the establishment of a framework for regular exchanges between the National Electoral Commission (CENI) and political parties and actors; and the establishment of a follow-up mechanism.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General praised the "spirit of dialogue" which prevailed during the workshop. Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga said the workshop marked "the beginning of an inclusive dialogue process, which will continue in the next weeks".
"The United Nations stands ready to be part of and to support this dialogue", Parfait Onanga-Anyanga stated as he commended the Government of Burundi for its support to the workshop as well as international partners for their assistance in consolidating peace and reinforcing inclusive political dialogue in Burundi.
In a video message to participants on Monday, 11 March, the United Nations Secretary-General commended Burundian political actors' commitment to dialogue. Mr. Ban Ki-moon stated that the meeting marked "another step forward for Burundi."