Burundi has now held three elections in a bid to end the Transitional Government that has been ruling the country since 2002 following the signing of the Arusha Peace Agreement. It was not an easy task to hold elections in a war-torn country where no population census has been undertaken for decades and where scores of citizens do not have identity books. There was considerable uncertainty about how political parties would respond to the outcome of the elections since many of then had entered politics only a few months before and do not have a democratic culture. The success of the constitutional referendum on February 28 was put down to a lack of interest, with attention focused on the communal and legislative elections which were still to come. While the former was marked by some violence and contestation, the latter appeared even more challenging. Surprisingly, the legislative election went smoothly and now Burundi is poised to achieve a return to peace and stability. Yet there are problems the country has to tackle if peace is to last and national reconciliation become a reality.
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Categories: Journal of African Elections