The government of Burundi is carried out under as a representative democratic republic, which means that the citizens of this country elect individuals to represent their interests in government. This country is, however, transitioning to this type of government after years of civil war and political unrest. Under this framework, the President acts as both the Head of State and the Head of Government. Additionally, legislative actions are carried out by the bicameral Parliament, which consists of the Senate (49 seats) and the National Assembly (118 seats). The judicial branch of government acts independently of the executive and the legislative branches.

In Burundi, the citizens take part in elections for the President and members of the National Assembly. The President selects 2 Vice Presidents to serve during the term once the elections are over. The presidency is limited to two 5-year terms, although the current President is serving in a controversial third term. Members of the National Assembly are elected to serve a 5-year term based on proportional representation. The members of the Senate, however, are elected by communal councils rather than the population. These individuals also serve a 5-year term, with 2 representatives acting on behalf of each of the 18 provinces of Burundi.

Both houses of Parliament, the National Assembly and the Senate, meet in the Congressional Palace (known as Palais des Congrès de Kigobe) located in the capital city Bujumbura. This building was completed in 1984 with money provided by the government of North Korea. According to the Regional Investment Agency COMESA, Burundi has plans to build a new parliament building in Harare that will look down on the city. The proposed design includes a 360° view of the urban area and is complete with native plants incorporated in the surrounding landscape.

The political system of Burundi is carried out by multiple political parties. The majority of these political affiliations are based on ethnicity, with the Hutus and the Tutsis being the largest ethnic groups in the country. Despite this multi-party system, only 3 parties tend to represent the country with any regularity. Parties that are currently represented in Parliament include: National Council for the Defense of Democracy (Hutu), Front for Democracy in Burundia (Hutu), Movement for the Rehabilitation of Citizens-Rurenzangemero (Tutsi), Party for National Recovery (Tutsi), and Union for National Progress (Tutsi).

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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