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Burundi to hold referendum of constitution in May 2018: electoral commission

BUJUMBURA – The Burundian National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) has announced that the referendum of the east African country’s constitution will be held in May 2018, the CENI said here on Friday in a meeting with electoral stakeholders.

“We plan to hold the referendum of the national constitution in May 2018, but the exact date will be known when the presidential decree announcing the date will be signed,” said Pierre Claver Ndayicariye, Chairman of the Burundian National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI).

Ndayicariye made the announcement in a meeting with electoral stakeholders, including representatives of political parties, civil society and religious groups.

The campaign of explaining new provisions of the national constitution before bringing it to a referendum was launched Tuesday by Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza in Bugendana district in the central Gitega province.

The draft constitution to be brought to a referendum in May 2018 does not forbid President Nkurunziza to run again for presidency.

It extends the presidential term from five years provided in the 2005 constitution to seven years and allows two consecutive terms for a president.

It also provides the creation of a post of a prime minister and only one vice-president whereas the 2005 constitution provided two vice-presidents.

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