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) consisting of the Senate (Sénat) with 54 seats and the National Assembly (Inama NshingamateKa) with 140 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 (Sénat) 34 members are indirectly elected by an electoral college to serve 5-year terms*. In the National Assembly (Inama NshingamateKa) 100 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 5-year terms.**
* There are 17 constituencies with two representatives each. 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. For every three candidates on a party-list, no more than two may be from one ethnic group. In addition, at least one out of four candidates must be a women. 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. Additional seats may be appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure balance of ethnic representation. The Constitution mandates a 60-40% split between Hutus and Tutsis, respectively, and a minimum 30% representation of women.
Main Candidates in the Presidential race:
- 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)
* Due to the fact that all opposition parties have boycotted the election, the electoral commission (CENI) has changed the voting procedure. The election is now essentially a referendum, with white and black envelopes used by those for and against Nkurunziza’s election.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 9,863,117 (July 2010 est.)
- Registered Voters: 3,551,125 (June 2010 )