APAC calls on contestants to make Burundi election free and fair

Nothing - not even the rampaging threat of the COVID-19 - seems to pose any hurdle to the May 20 general elections in the Republic of Burundi.

Kehinde Bamigbetan
Kehinde Bamigbetan,
President of APA
April, 2020

It is the conviction of the Association of Political Consultants-Africa, APCA that the elections commission has considered carefully the impact of measures to cope with the coronavirus threat before its decision to proceed with the elections.

The emergence of presidential aspirants from the platform of political parties is a positive development. For the first time in the last 15 years, none of the contestants is an incumbent.
The APCA commends outgoing President Pierre Nkurunziza for this demonstration of excellent statesmanship.

It has allayed fears of possible breach of constitutional provisions and calmed anxiety that the civic rights of the citizenry may be endangered in the quest to remain in.power by all means.

We therefore urge President Nkurunziza to further hold aloft the banner of democracy by facilitating a level playing field for all parties. It is not only the right thing to do, it is a honourable obligation to discharge to the 11 million citizens who have no other country than Burundi to call their home.

Indeed, it is worthy of note that the representatives of the people in parliament have approved a generous package of benefits to make life outside office a prestigious future to look forward to. This gesture of appreciation for 15 years in power comes with the onerous duty to assume the role of the exemplary statesman whose energy must be deployef to the sustenance of a peaceful, harmonious Burundi where development can continue to bloom.

The APCA is committed to the promotion of free, fair and transparent elections in Burundi. It hereby urges the outgoing administration to improve the freedom of the press and expand the frontiers of the internet and social media. These are tools the candidates need to educate the electorate about their manifestoes and what makes them different from one another.

Equally important is the right to hold rallies and public processions to engage voters to make informed choices.
Specifically, the Association of Political Consultants-Africa demands the security and safety of political consultants across the world who may be hired by parties and candidates to bring their expertise to enrich the democratic experience of the Burundi people in the May 2020 polls.

We express our sincere solidarity with the citizens of Burundi as they prepare to go to the polls and urge voters to eschew violence,corruption and other malpractices which may mar this march of History.