Burundi elections, 2005

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Elections: 2005
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The Republic of Burundi held several elections in 2005. The polls returned the nation to constitutional democratic rule after a devastating civil war that arose from long-standing ethnic tensions between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority.

Four of the polls (28 February Constitutional Referendum, 3 June Communal, 4 July National Assembly, and 23 September 'Hills' Elections) were direct elections while two (29 July Senatorial and 19 August Presidential Elections) were indirect, as they were chosen by communal councilors and the parliament, respectively.

See the list of political parties in Burundi for information about the parties.


28 February 2005 Constitutional Referendum

The new constitution guarantees representation for both ethnic groups by setting out the share of posts they will have in parliament and government and the army, which had been dominated by Tutsis since independence. Most political parties urged a "Yes" vote in the poll, but some Tutsi parties urged a "No" vote, stating that the new constitution doesn’t give Tutsis enough guarantees. Election day was peaceful and no major incidents were reported. Voter turnout was high and the final results showed overwhelming support for the new constitution.

Main Points of the Constitution

  • The ethnic composition of the National Assembly is 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi. Three additional seats are reserved for members of the Twa ethnic group, which makes up approximately one percent of the national population.
  • In the upper house of parliament, the Senate, seats are evenly divided (50%-50%) between Hutus and Tutsis.
  • Military posts are to be shared equally between the two groups.


Registered Voters 3,132,494
Total Votes 2,894,372
Voter Turnout: 92.4%
Invalid/Blank Votes 60,285
Total Valid Votes 2,834,087
Results Number of Votes % of Votes
"Yes" Votes 2,607,852 92.02%
"No" Votes 226,235 7.98%

3 June/7 June 2005 Communal Elections

On 3 June 2005, voters went to the polls to choose 3,225 communal councilors (25 seats per Commune; A total of 129 Communes). The election was largely peaceful in most parts of the country, however, violence and intimidation in some communes of Bujumbura Rural and Bubanza provinces led to a re-poll held on 7 June. Observers considered the communal elections generally free and fair, despite some minor irregularities. [1]

The elections were won by the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), who captured 55% (1,781) of the seats.


Registered Voters 3,157,158
Total Votes 2,544,669
Voter Turnout: 80.6%
Invalid/Blank Votes N/A
Total Valid Votes N/A
Party Number of Seats (3,225)
National Council for the Defense of Democracy -
Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD)
Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) 822
Union for National Progress (UPRONA) 260
National Council for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD) 135
Movement for the Rehabilitation of Citizens - Rurenzangemero
Party for National Recovery (PARENA) 75
Others 64

4 July 2005 National Assembly Elections

National Assembly elections were held on 4 July 2005. Approximately 30 political parties and independents competed for 100 seats. Voting was largely peaceful throughout the country during election day. Observers deemed the polls generally free, fair, and transparent. [2] Major political parties accepted the results as legitimate.

In order to ensure the 60%-40% ethnic split and 30% quota for women, a further 18 members, including the three Twa representatives foreseen by the Electoral Code, were co-opted after the elections.

As in the communal elections held a month earlier, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) won the most seats.


Summary of the 4 July National Assembly election results Votes % Elected
National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (Conseil National Pour la Défense de la Démocratie–Forces pour la Défense de la Démocratie, CNDD-FDD) 1,417,800 58.55 59 5 64
Front for Democracy in Burundi (Front pour la Démocratie au Burundi, FRODEBU) 525,336 21.70 25 5 30
Union for National Progress (Union pour le Progrès national, UPRONA) 174,575 7.21 10 5 15
National Council for the Defense of Democracy (Conseil National Pour la Défense de la Démocratie, CNDD) 100,366 4.14 4 - 4
Movement for the Rehabilitation of Citizens-Rurenzangemero (Mouvement pour la Réhabilitation du Citoyen-Rurenzangemero, MRC) 51,730 2.14 2 - 2
Party for National Recovery (Parti pour le redressement national, PARENA) 42,223 1.74 - - -
Others & Independents 109,396 4.51 - - -
Ethnic Twa Members - - - 3 3
Total (Voter Turnout: 77.2%) 2,421,426 100.0 100 18 118
Registered Voters 3,167,124  
Total Votes 2,446,001
Invalid/Blank Votes 24,575

29 July 2005 Senate Elections

Senate elections were held on 29 July 2005. Senators were chosen indirectly through electoral colleges of communal council members in each province. There are two senators (one Hutu and one Tutsi) from each of Burundi's seventeen provinces. Three Senators come from the Twa ethnic group. Women must occupy at least 30% of the seats in the Senate. Four former presidents - Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (PARENA), Pierre Buyoya (UPRONA), Sylvestre Ntibantunganya (FRODEBU), and Domitien Ndayizeye (FRODEBU) will also become Senators.


Party Elected Members
(34 Seats)
Co-opted & Other Members
(15 Seats)
Total Seats
National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) 30 02 32
Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) 03 02 05
National Council for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD) 01 02 03
Union for National Progress (UPRONA) - 02 02
Ethnic Twa Members - 03 03
Ex-Presidents - 04

19 August 2005 Presidential Election

Members of the National Assembly and Senate chose the new president of the republic, who will serve term of five years, on 19 August 2005. The sole candidate, Pierre Nkurunziza of the CNDD-FDD, was overwhelmingly endorsed as president by the parliament. Nkurunziza was sworn in on 26 August 2005.


Pierre Nkurunziza for President
Results Number of Votes (162)
For 151
Against 09
Abstention 01
Null 01

23 September 2005 'Hills' Elections

According to the new constitution, each 'Hill', or district will be managed by a council made up of five members who are elected by direct vote for a term of five years. During these elections, the candidates presented themselves only as independents.

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