By Daniel Sabiiti
Burundi Parliament has approved the list of nine candidates who will represent Burundi at the East African community legislative assembly (EALA) amidst allegations of an illegal voting process.
Only one member of Burundi Parliament, Fabien Banciryanino of the coalition Amizero y’abarundi voted against.
Sources indicate that Banciryanino condemned the failure to comply with Articles 71 and 72 of the internal rules of the National Assembly of Burundi, which only stipulates a secret vote in such cases.
His argument was however swept away by Pascal Nyabenda, chairman of the National Assembly, stating that “the house of parliament wished to vote by show of hands in the present case.”
Their candidatures were approved by 109 out of 110 lawmakers present at the Chamber of parliament, this Thursday, April 20, 2017.
Of the nine, five come from the ruling CNDD-FDD party who include Victor Burikukiye, Karerwa Mo Mamo, Léontine Nzeyimana, Pierre Claver Rurakamvye and Jean Marie Muhirwa.
Two are from the coalition Amizero y’Abarundi – Sophie Nsavyimana and Christophe Nduwayo. While others came from the pro-government UPRONA party Marie Claire Burikukiye, and Alfred Ahigejeje of the Burundi Batwa community.
According to the regulations governing the legislative assembly of the East African community, the chosen lawmakers must not be members of the parliament or the government of their countries of origin.
Three deputies had to submit their resignation to the National Assembly and Minister Leontine Nzeyimana had left the Nkurunziza government of on Tuesday April 18, 2017 to be eligible.
In 2015, the Burundi threatened to recall four of its nine representatives at third EALA assembly, stirring controversy with some saying that the move goes against the Treaty establishing the East African Community (EAC).
These included Emerence Bucumi, Jean Marie Muhirwa, Isabelle Ndahayo, Leonce Ndarubagiye, Dr. Martin Nduwimana, Emmanuel Nengo, Jeremie Ngendakumana, Frederic Ngenzebuhoro, and Yves Nsabimana.
None of the nine members was given a vote of confidence to return in the next EALA assembly.