Burundi adopted a new constitution in 2005
after a civil war between Tutsi and Hutu ended. The
Constitution stipulated that power should be shared
between the two peoples groups and that political
parties must stand with candidates from both groups in
elections. Since then, the balance has again been
disrupted and in 2018, the Hut-dominated government
managed to have the Constitution amended in favor of the
Burundi is a republic whose president is head of
state and government as well as commander-in-chief. The
president was previously elected by Parliament, but has
since 2010 been elected in general elections for a term
of five years. As of the 2020 elections, the term of
office is seven years with the possibility of
re-election at most once.
Total population and chart of Burundi for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
According to the constitution, the government must
consist of 60 percent Hutus and 40 percent Tutsis. The
Minister of Defense and the Minister responsible for the
police must not belong to the same ethnic group. At
least 30 percent of ministers should be women.
The Legislative Parliament has two chambers: the
National Assembly (Lower House) which
adopts laws and the Senate (Upper
House) which oversees the legislative work and has an
advisory role in relation to the President. Basic
amendments must be approved by both chambers.
The National Assembly shall consist of 60 percent
Hutus and 40 percent Tutsis, and 30 percent of the
members shall be women. The National Assembly must have
at least 100 members, and an additional up to 20 can be
appointed for the ethnic distribution to be correct.
Minority people two are guaranteed three places. The
members are elected in general elections for five years.
All parties must have both Hutus and Tutsis, as well as
women and men, in select places.
The Senate must have at least 34 and a maximum of 54
members, of which as many Hutus as Tutsis plus three
representatives of the two. The senators are appointed
for five years by an electoral college with
representatives of the 18 provinces plus the
metropolitan area. Former presidents also have the right
to sit in the Senate.
During the 2010s, then-President Nkurunziza's
Hut-dominated government made several attempts to change
the constitution to give the Hutu more power. In May
2018, the project was carried into port when a new
constitution was approved in a referendum. The new
Constitution came into force the following month. The
distribution of mandates between Hutu and Tutsi exists
(60/40), but now decisions in Parliament can be taken by
a simple majority, that is without the participation of
Furthermore, an earlier system was abolished with two
vice presidents from different parties and different
ethnic groups. From the 2020 elections, there is a Vice
President appointed by the President. The Prime Minister
is to be taken from the largest party in Parliament,
which has long been the hut-dominated CNDD-FDD (see
below). The President appoints the Government after
consulting with the Vice President and the Prime
Minister. A rule that every party that received at least
5 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections is
entitled to governmental positions was abolished by the
constitutional amendments 2018.
Burundi is divided into 18 provinces, which in turn
consist of districts and municipalities. Through the
provincial governors appointed by the president, the
government exercises control in the country. The
municipal mayors also have the task of implementing the
government's policy at the local level. The district is
governed by a council that is elected in general
elections every five years.
The Hut-dominated National Council for
Defense-The Forces of Democracy (National
Defense Council for Democracy-Forces
for Defense of Democracy, CNDD-FDD) has
been the country's leading and by far the largest party
since 2005. It had previously emerged as a Hutu
extremist movement and the FDD faction fought an armed
struggle against the regime until 2003. After being
transformed into a party, the CNDD-FDD managed to win
support even among Tutsis.
The formerly dominant party of the Hutuma majority
Front of Democracy in Burundi (Front
pour la Democracy au Burundi, Frodebu)
has weakened since the 2005 election.
The Tutsidominated Party National Progressive
Union (Union pour le Progrès National,
Uprona) was the only allowed party until 1992.
Nowadays, Uprona is also marginalized.
Ahead of the 2015 parliamentary elections, an
opposition alliance was formed called the
Independent Coalition for the Burundian Hope
(Abigenga Mizero y'Abarundi). Frodebu boycotted the
election while Uprona stood outside the opposition
alliance, which received 21 seats in the lower house and
a number of ministerial posts in the government.
Following the 2015 elections, a series of opposition
parties formed the umbrella organization
National Council for the Restoration of the Arusha
Agreement and the Rule of Law (National Council
for the Respect of the Arusha for the Paix et la
Reconciliation at Burundi and the State of Droit,
CNARED). Read about the Arusha
Agreement in Modern History.
Alongside the political parties, the youth
militia Imbonerakure has played a prominent
role. The movement is said to have around 50,000 members
and is described as the CNDD-FDD's youth federation and
also as Nkurunziza's private army. Imbonerakure consists
of young men (usually poor, unemployed and illiterate)
and accused of threatening and abusing opposites and
helping the police to turn down demonstrations.
There are also a number of armed groups fighting the
government. In December 2015, a new rebel group, the
Burundi Republican Forces (Forces
Républicaines du Burundi, Forebu), was
launched. In the following years, a
number of retired officers joined Forebu, who in 2017
changed their name to Burundi's people forces
(Forces Populaires du Burundi, FPB). A
third resistance group is RED-TABARA
with bases in eastern Congo-Kinshasa.
The Vice President resigns
Second Vice President Alice Nzomukunda, a member of
the CNDD-FDD government party, resigns. She motivates
the run-off with corruption within the government and
accuses it of violating human rights. Her departure
strengthens the hypothesis that the alleged coup attempt
was really about internal power struggles within the
government (see August 2006).
Arm rest with huturebeller
The Burundian government enters into an armistice
with the Huturebelene FNL.
Suspicious cupmakers are arrested
Authorities claim that a coup attempt has been
averted. Among those arrested for alleged interference
is former President Domitien Ndayizeye. Within the
opposition, there are suspicions that the coup attempt
was rather a power struggle within the CNDD-FDD