• Sat. May 25th, 2024

The Minister of Justice calls for an upward revision of the deposit for presidential and legislative candidacies as a warning to would-be candidates


Apr 26, 2024


GITEGA, April 23rd (ABP) – Burundi’s Senators, meeting in plenary session on Thursday 18 April 2024, unanimously adopted, after analysis, in their hemicycle in Gitega (central Burundi), the draft organic law amending organic law No. 1/11 of 20 May 2019 on the electoral code.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Justice, Domine Banyankimbona, who presented the bill to the Senators and explained the grey areas.

In her explanatory statement, Minister Banyankimbona said that the bill in question would bring the Electoral Code into line with Organic Law No. 1/05 of 16 March 2023 on the determination and delimitation of provinces, communes, zones and hills and/or neighbourhoods in the Republic of Burundi.

It also takes into account the recommendations arising from the evaluation of the 2020 electoral process. Those include reducing the impact of social networks and illegal media on the electoral process, making it an electoral offence to announce election results before they have been declared by the competent bodies, and including in the electoral code penal provisions against the media and social networks that propagate messages likely to compromise the electoral process or stir up electoral violence.

                                                                                                                            View of the Senators during the vote

In addition, she continued, consideration had been given to increasing the fines, both to deter offenders and to avoid overcrowding the prisons.

On the subject of the debates, Mrs. Banyankimbona commented on the question of the payment of a deposit by all election candidates.

She explained that in the past it had been observed that some people stood as candidates for publicity purposes. According to the Minister, the increase in the deposit for presidential and legislative candidacies is intended to reduce the number of bogus candidates.

As for the reimbursement of that deposit, she announced that the present bill recommends the following: “If the candidacy is declared inadmissible or if the candidate obtains at least 5% of the votes cast in the first round”. However, she qualified that by referring to Article 104 of the present draft organic law, which states that withdrawal of the candidacy does not entitle the candidate to a refund of the deposit.