Govt approves changes to constitution, extending president’s stay in office
BURUNDI: The government has approved changes to the constitution that could pave the way to a potential 14-year extension in President Pierre Nkurunziza’s stay in office, senior officials said.
Ministers, meeting on Tuesday in an extraordinary session, gave their agreement in principle to the proposed reforms, they said.
The head of Burundi’s opposition forum reacted with fury, declaring President Nkurunziza had crossed a “red line” and should be chased from office. The present constitution derives from the country’s 2000 peace agreement, which was signed in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha to end a 12-year civil war that claimed more than 300,000 lives.
The planned changes do not touch ethnic and gender quotas required for the government, parliament or police, “but they no longer make a reference to the Arusha peace agreement,” said one of the officials.