The following are the key issues for the opposition in Burundian dialogue

1. Deployment of an International peacekeeping force

2. Amend 129 Article of the Constitution to allow political parties with less than 5 percent to have positions in government

3. End Corruption

4. Equal distribution of resources

5. Disarming and stopping Imbonerakure

6. Ending political violence

My take on some of the ” issues”

Demand Number 2:
Clearly, some one is saying that my political party does not have members but it must exist and I must get positions in government and the taxpayer must foot the bill for my party with no supporters/voters. It’s absurd argument.

It would have been different if the argument was that some political party steals my votes, in which case we would be talking about fair and free elections. This is not the problem in Burundi. Interestingly, in many countries, if a party gets less that 5% of the vote, it cannot be called a political party.

This is a ” pressing ” issue the opposition is bringing to the talks!!

Do these Burundian ” opposition” leaders who cannot raise 5% of the total vote ever ask themselves why they cannot get members? If Burundians are not buying into their political package, why don’t they join those parties that are able to sell to the general public if they want to remain in political party politics? If they failed the trade, why don’t they try something else?

Interestingly, these ” opposition” leaders need special resources for their political parties, which can’t raise 5% of the vote, on the one hand and they talk of equal distribution of resources!!

These ” political parties” are saying that even if they came together they cannot raise at least 5% of the vote, not because anybody steals votes, but because they don’t have supporters. However, these groups insist, they need positions in government. Therefore, they resort to violence, not the vote, to get political power.

I wish they read my mouthpiece, which I wrote on the first day of the riots. Once again, I am vindicated.

Dr Charles Kambanda