Feature Story

Building Venice in Africa? What we might learn from Burundi 


Tensions are reaching boiling point in Burundi as outgoing President Pierre Nkurunziza insists on running for a third term as the country’s leader. His bid comes amid protests of large numbers of citizens and the international community that such a move would be unconstitutional and contrary to the Agreement of Arusha for Peace and Reconciliation, signed in 2000 to end to protracted ethnic conflict in Burundi.

The constitution states that the president “is elected by universal direct suffrage for a mandate of five years renewable one time.” Nkurunziza came to power in 2005, and was re-elected in 2010, but hinges his bid for a third term on the fact that in 2005 he was not elected by “universal direct suffrage,” but rather by the Parliament in accordance with the transitional 

About the Author

FORMER Programme Officer
Yuhniwo (Tayuh) Ngenge

Ngenge’s work focused on courts, constitutions and democratization. He is led the development of a database of selected constitutional case law with a view to increasing understanding of how judicial response on a specific range of constitutional issues impacts democracy. Previous to this, Ngenge managed the conceptualization and development of International IDEA’s ConstitutionNet website project, which is a key online platform for showcasing the Institute’s work in the area of constitution-building and an information hub for global news and analysis on trends in constitution building processes around the world.