Burundi is a landlocked country in Africa with an area of 27,834 sq km and a population of 1,18,65,000 estimated. 91% are Christians, of which more than two-thirds are Roman Catholics. The official language is Kirundi, with English and French used. Ethnically, 85% belong to the Hutu community and 14% to the Tutsi community.

There are some interesting provisions in the constitution. No one is able to run as an independent candidate in the next two years after resigning from any political party. It is often seen in different countries of the world that if one does not get the nomination of his/her party, s/he immediately participates in the election separately with his/her followers. As a result, the vote bank split and the political party defeates. This measure is to prevent this evil behavior.

No one will be discriminated against, especially on the basis of gender, caste, language, social status, religious, philosophical, or political beliefs, physical or mental disability, HIV / AIDS status, or any other incurable disease.

There is a very nice sentence in Article 14, "The people must live together in harmony, all in respecting human dignity and in tolerating their differences"

These are positive aspects. Now let's discuss the negative aspects.

An average of 60% of seats in parliament and cabinet are allocated for Hutu, and 40% for Tutsi - this is ugly. On the contrary, if multiple levels of local government were created, the Tutsis would be able to participate in power at the local level, where the Tutsis are the majority. In the jury panel or If there are 3 or more judges in the court bench - then the combination of gender, religion, color etc. can be made compulsory in the interest of justice. But such a balance of government in areas other than regional and gender is strange.

But the most frightening is Article 4.


Constitution of Burundi


Admirable Articles of Burundi's Constitution

Article 6

The principle of the Republic of Burundi is government of the People, by the People, and for the People.

Article 8

Suffrage is universal, equal, protected, free and transparent. It may be direct or indirect according to conditions stipulated by the law.

The electorate, according to the terms determined by the electoral code, is composed of all Burundians aged 18 years enjoying their civil and political rights.

Article 13

All Burundian people are equal in merit and in dignity. All citizens enjoy the same rights and have the same protection of the law. No Burundian will be excluded from the social, political, or economic life due to their race, language, religion, sex, or ethnic origin.

Article 14

All Burundian people have the right to live in Burundi in peace and security. The people must live together in harmony, all in respecting human dignity and in tolerating their differences.

Article 16

The Burundi government must be composed so that all Burundians are represented in it and so that it represents all Burundians, so that each person has an equal chance of being part of it, so that all citizens have access to public services, and so that the decisions and actions of the Government receive the greatest possible support.

Article 22

All citizens are equal before the law, which assures them equal protection.

No one may be the target of discrimination based on, notably: origin, race, ethnicity, sex, color, language, social situation, religious, philosophical, or political belief, physical or mental handicap, HIV/AIDS status or having any other incurable illness.

Article 26

No one may be slaved or held in servitude. Slavery and the traffic of slaves is forbidden in all forms

Article 46

No child may be detained unless as final recourse, in which case the detention of the child will be the shortest possible.

Every child has the right to be separated from prisoners older than 16 years and to be subjected to treatment and detention conditions adapted to their age.

Article 81

Political parties can form coalitions during elections, according to the terms and conditions set by electoral law.

Article 99

Candidates can be presented by political parties or coalitions of political parties or can present themselves as independents.

A candidate is considered independent if they have not aligned themselves with any political party within at least a year and if they affirm their independence in regards to habitual political divisions by proposing a personal societal project.

A member of a leading organ of a political party can not present himself as an independent candidate until after a period of two years after his expulsion or resignation from the party of origin.

Article 250

Neither the Corps of Defense and of Security, nor any of their members may, in the exercise of their duties:

  1. Infringe upon the interests of a political party which, in the terms of the Constitution, is legal;
  2. Display their political preferences;
  3. Favor, in a partisan manner, the interests of a political party;
  4. Be a member of a political party or of an association with political character;
  5. Participate in activities or protests of political character.

The law concerning the organization and operations of the Defense and Security Corps punishes the violation of it.

Article 280

Agreements authorizing toxic waste storage and the storage of other materials detrimental to the environment are prohibited.




Facts of Burundi's Constitution

Preamble (Part of it)

We, the People of Burundi:

Understanding our responsibilities before God:

Reaffirming our faith in the ideal of peace, of reconciliation, and of national unity in accordance with the Arusha Accords for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi of August 28, 2000 and the Ceasefire Accords;

Affirming the commitment of Burundi to the Treaty establishing the East African Community (EAC);

Considering that relations between people must be characterized by peace, friendship, and cooperation conforming to the United Nations Charter of June 26, 1945;

Reaffirming our attachment to the cause of African unity conforming to the Constitutive Act of the African Union of May 25, 2002;


Article 4

The status and the reestablishment of monarchy must be made the object of a referendum.

Any militant party which peacefully pursues the restoration of monarchy has the right to operate.


Article 5 (Part of it)

The national language is Kirundi. The official languages are Kirundi and all other languages as determined by law.


Article 107

At the moment of taking up office, the President of the Republic solemnly swears the oath below, received by the Constitutional Court:

"Before Almighty God, before the people of Burundi, sole possessors of national sovereignty, I, (state name), President of the Republic of Burundi, swear fidelity to the Charter of National Unity, to the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi and to the law, and commit to consecrating all of my powers to the defense of the higher interests of the nation, to assure national unity and the cohesion of the Burundi people, peace, and social justice. I commit myself to combatting every ideology and practice of genocide and of exclusion, to promote and to defend the individual and collective rights and freedoms of person and of citizen, and to safeguard the integrity and the independence of the Republic of Burundi".


Article 128

The Government is composed of the Prime Minister and other ministers. It is open to all ethnic groups. It is composed of at most 60% Hutu ministers and at most 40% Tutsi ministers. A minimum composition of 30% female is assured.


Article 135

The President of the Republic, in consultation with the Vice President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, ensures that the Minister tasked with the National Defense Force is not of the same ethnicity as the Minister tasked with the National Police.


Article 148

The Administration is largely representative of the Burundi nation and must reflect the diversity of its people. The practices which the Administration observes in terms of employment are founded on objective and fair criteria of aptitude, along with the necessity to correct imbalances and to assure a large ethnic, regional, and gender diversity. Ethnic representation in public enterprises is filled at a rate of 60% or more for the Hutu and 40% or more for the Tutsi.


Article 169 (Part of it)

The National Assembly is composed of at least 100 deputies in rates of 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi, of which a minimum of 30% must be women, elected by direct universal suffrage for a term of 5 years and 3 deputies issuing from the Twa ethnicity co-opted according to the electoral code.


Article 173

The elections of deputies occur following the ballot of bloc lists by proportional representation. These lists must have a multiethnic character and take into account the balance between men and women. For three candidates registered on a list, only two can belong to the same ethnic group, and at least one of three must be a woman.


Article 185 (Part of it)

The Senate is composed of:

  1. Two delegates from each province, elected by an electoral college composed of members of the communal councils of the considered province, of different ethnic communities and elected by separate ballots;
  2. Three people of the Twa ethnicity;