Burundi leader focuses on recent polls, upcoming dialogue in address to UN Assembly

1 October 2015

The Vice-President of Burundi, Joseph Butore, addressed the General Assembly today, focusing on the elections that took place in his country this year and the upcoming dialogue there.

He said that Burundi had “just ended an electoral process as laid out in the 2005 constitution,” emphasizing that the constitution had “not been modified in any way.”

Mr. Butore added that the “process was a great success, despite the violent protests” that, he said, transformed into an insurrection in some parts of Burundi’s capital.

He stressed that parties who, “having decided to turn away from the ballot box,” want to “spread trouble to justify the impossibility of organizing the electoral process.”

"After the elections, the Government of Burundi has just opened another political phase, that of dialogue, a dialogue that aims to be inclusive, sincere and open to all topics," he added.

On recent events, he recalled there had been a coup, which failed, and on 24 August, a new Government was formed. This government, he said, has now opened a new political phase of dialogue that is inclusive, sincere, and open to all.

He also noted the presence of the UN Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi (MENUB) during the process.

As for the issue of the freedom of the media in Burundi, he said that of 20 private media organizations, three radio and one television company were facing investigations because of their alleged role in the coup, while other media continues to operate.

Mr. Butore also said that those arrested during the coup will benefit from “equitable justice and will have the right to their own defence.”

On Friday, the UN Secretary-General met with Mr. Butore and and expressed concern over the situation in Burundi. Mr. Ban called for an inclusive political dialogue to resume without further delay.


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