At stake in this election:
- The office of President of Burundi
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA
- Head of Government: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA
- Assembly: Burundi has a bicameral Parliament (Parlement / Inama Nkenguzamateka) consisting of the Senate with 54 seats and the National Assembly (Assemblee National / Inama Nshingamateka) with 100 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by absolute majority vote through a two-round system to serve a 5-year term.
- In the Senate 34 members are indirectly elected by an electoral college to serve 5-year terms.* In the National Assembly (Assemblee National) 100 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 5-year terms.**
* There are 17 constituencies with 2 Senators each, one Hutu and one must be Tutsi. Candidates are elected through an electoral college composed of members of municipal councils from the province that corresponds to the constituency. In each province, the two representatives must come from different ethnic communities. Candidates are elected through a super-majority, three-round system. The first two rounds require a super-majority (two-thirds of the votes) for a candidate to be elected. If the first two rounds do not produce a winner, a third round is held for the top two candidates where a plurality vote determines the winner. Three seats are appointed to members of the Twa ethnic group. Additionally, former heads of state have reserved seats. Women must comprise 30% of all elected members. If this percentage is not reached through, the Independent National Electoral Commission will appoint a number of “co-opted Senators” to reach the quota. This is done through assigning each party that reached 5% of the votes cast, an equal number of women seats until the quota is met. The electoral commission consults with the relevant parties in selecting these senators.
** Candidates and parties run in 17 multi-member constituencies. Parties present a closed-list of candidates on each ballot. The Constitution of Burundi stipulates that 60% of the Deputies be from the Hutu ethnic group, and 40% be from the Tutsi ethnic group. Three seats are co-opted to members of the Twa ethnic group. Women must occupy at least 30% of the seats in the National Assembly. Additional seats may be appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure balance of ethnic representation. Electors are handed two envelopes, one white and one black. They are also handed as many ballots as there are candidates or lists of candidates. The elector places the ballot, with the party-list of their choice, into the white envelope and the remaining ballots into the black envelope. When the elector leaves the voting booth they place the white envelope in the small ballot box and the black envelope in a large urn. Votes are tabulated using the d'Hondt method. There is a 2 percent threshold.
Main candidates in the presidential race:
- Candidate: Pierre NKURUNZIZA*
Party: National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy / Conseil National Pour la Défense de la Démocratie–Forces pour la Défense de la Démocratie (CNDD-FDD)
- Candidate: Gerard NDUWAYO
Party: Union for National Progress / Union Pour le Progrès National (UPRONA)
- Candidate : Jean de Dieu MUTABAZI
Party : COPA
- Candidate : Agathon RWASA
Party : MIZERO Y’ABARUNDI
- Candidate :Domitien NDAYIZEYE
Party : RANAC
- Indépendant candidate :Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
- Candidate :Jacques BIGIRIMANA
Party : FNL
- Candidate :Jean MINANI
Party : FRODEBU NYAKURI IRAGI RYA NDADAYE
* The legality of current President Nkurunziza’s third term election bid has been a source of significant controversy and unrest. Within his own CNDD-FDD party, 140 senior members have signed a petition demanding that he does not run for a third term. Of further note are allegations that the Imbonerakure—the youth wing of Nkurunziza’s CNDD-FDD party—has been “harassing, abducting, and even killing opposition figures and supporters” leading up to the elections and has specifically targeted members of the Tutsi minority. The prospect of electoral violence has led several thousand Burundians to flee to Rwanda until the election has passed.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Female Population: 5,224,797 (2014 est.)
- Is Burundi a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (17 July 1980)
- Has Burundi ratified CEDAW: Yes (8 January 1992)
- Gender Quota: Yes
- Female Candidates in this election: Yes
- Number of Female Legislators: 34 (32%) of 106 seats in the National Assembly
- Human Development Index (HDI) Position: 180
- Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: Medium
- Is Burundi a signatory to CRPD: Yes (26 April 2007)
- Has Burundi ratified CRPD: Yes (22 May 2014)