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Burundi (Republic of Burundi)

Burundi (Republic of Burundi) has a Bicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house and upper house and at the sub-national level. 44 of 121 (36%) seats in the Inama NshingmateKa / National Assembly are held by women.

At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Bicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • For the Single/Lower House? Yes
  • For the Upper House? Yes
  • For the Sub-National Level? Yes

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? No

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: May 2, 2019

Single/Lower House

Inama NshingmateKa / National Assembly

Total seats 121
Total Women 44
% Women 36%
Election Year 2015
Electoral System List PR
Quota Type Reserved seats
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution Elections to the National Assembly are held through a system of proportional representation from closed candidate lists which should have a multi-ethnic character and take into consideration the balance between men and women. For every three candidates who appear consecutively on a list, only two can be of the same ethnic group and at least one out of every four candidates must be a woman (Article 168 of the 2005 Constitution). The National Assembly is composed of 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi, including at least 30% women, as well as three deputies from the Twa ethnicity (Article 164 (1) of the 2005 Constitution).
Electoral law

Article 108 (1) of the 2014 Electoral Code stipulates that at least 30% of the members of the National Assembly must be women. In addition Article 127 (4) of the Electoral Code states that lists must take gender balance into account and that one in 4 candidates must be a woman.

Legal sanctions for non-compliance Constitution

If the election results do not fulfill the quota percentages, the inequalities shall be corrected through a mechanism of co-optation provided by the Electoral Code (Article 164 (2) of the 2005 Constitution).

According to the Electoral Law, if the election results do not fulfill the quota requirements, a process of co-optation will follow, whereby the Electoral Administration adds, from the candidate lists that have obtained at least 5% of the votes cast, more members from the under-represented ethnic group or gender until the quota requirements are met (Article 108 (2) of the electoral code).

Rank order/placement rules Constitution

‘For every three candidates that appear consecutively on a list, only two can be of the same ethnic group and at least one out of four candidates must be a woman’ (Article 168 of the 2005 Constitution). According to Electoral Law, one in four candidates must be a woman (Articles 108 (1) and 127 (4) of the electoral code)

Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No  
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No  
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database

Upper House

Sénat / Senate

Total seats 39
Total Women 18
% Women 46%
Election Year 2015
Electoral System Indirectly elected
Quota Type Reserved seats>
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution Article 180 of the 2005 Constitution ensures at least a 30% quota for women in the Senate.
Electoral law

Article 142 of the Electoral Code of 2014 requires a minimum of 30 % women in the Senate.

Legal sanctions for non-compliance Constitution

The Electoral Law shall provide for a co-optation mechanism, if necessary, so that the 30% quota for women is met (Article 180 of the 2005 Constitution).

In addition, the Electoral Law states that if the quota requirements are not met, a process of co-optation will follow, whereby the Electoral Administration, in consultation with the parties concerned, adds more members from the candidate lists that have obtained at least 5% of the votes cast, until the quota requirements are met (Article 142 (2) of the Electoral code of 2014).

Rank order/placement rules No None

Quota at the Sub-National Level

  • Quota type: Reserved seats
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution  
Electoral law

The Communal Councils comprise 15 members, 30% of which must be women (Article 182 (2) of the electoral code). In addition, article 177 (2) of the electoral code stipulates that, for elections to the District Councils, the five candidates with the highest number of votes are elected. In case two candidates have obtained the same number of votes, priority is given to the candidate of the less represented gender.

Legal sanctions for non-compliance Electoral law In case the composition of the Communal Council does not reflect the ethnical and gender diversity, the Independent National Electoral Commission, in consultation with the parties concerned, can, through a mechanism of co-optation, appoint the necessary number of members from the candidates list that obtained the highest number of votes, until the quota requirements are met (Articles 181 (2) and 191 of the electoral code).
Rank order/placement rules No None

Additional Information

In the 2015 elections, 30 % of the candidates registered were women, however women were largerly not highly ranked on the lists. 25 % out of the total percentage of women in parliament were directly elected, resulting in the use of the co-optation mechanism. 18 women were co-opted, bringing the total number to 44 women. 

Political parties participating in the 2010 parliamentary elections respected the 30 per cent quota for women candidates in their lists. However, only 18 out of the 81 candidate lists were headed by women. After the announcement of the results, the Electoral Administration did not have to resort to the process of co-optation. This constituted significant progress compared to the 2005 elections, after which 12 women were added to the list for the National Assembly and 9 women were added to the list for the Senate.

The 2005 Constitution also stipulates a 30 per cent quota for women in government posts (article 129). In addition, Article 33 of the law on political parties stipulates that no more than three out of every four members of a party’s organizational structure shall be of the same gender.

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