Burundi electoral commission to take lessons in SA

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pretoria - A team from the National Independent Electoral Commission of Burundi (CENI) will arrive in the country to observe the upcoming municipal elections.

Invited by the South African Embassy in Burundi, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the team will arrive in the country on Friday.

"The objectives of the visit will be to observe the SA Municipal Elections on 18 May 2011 and further enhance the capacity of the CENI, with a view to prepare for the 2015 Burundian Elections," International Relations and Cooperation Department said on Tuesday.

This visit would be the second by the CENI to South Africa to observe elections, with the first visit having been successful during the South African National (Parliamentary) Elections held in April 2009, shortly after the CENI was sworn in.

The group will be split in two and deployed in the Gauteng Province to observe the elections. They will have international observer status with access to polls as the elections are being conducted.

On the 19th and 20th, the CENI delegation will observe vote counting, procedures in practice on dealing with possible disputes, and the announcement of results. The delegation will return to Burundi on 21 May 2011.

Workshops have been planned by the IEC to educate the team about South Africa's law, procedures and management of resources-among others.