Burundi’s 2010 Elections

Burundi’s 2010 Elections: Democracy and Peace at Risk? - 2012 (ENG)

 

Author: Eva Palmans

 

 

This article focuses in particular on the 2010 elections and contribute to the debate on elections as a means of consolidating democracy and peace. The 2010 elections in Burundi were a milestone for the consolidation of democracy and peace in the country. When compared to the significant body of literature concerning the self-reinforcing power and the self-improving democratic quality of successive elections, these so-called second post-conflict elections, supposedly signalled a potential for a step towards consolidating democracy and peace. However, the electoral outcome showed that elections are not a guarantee themselves, that this goal would be achieved. Rather than being a step towards more democracy and peace, Burundi’s last elections gave an overwhelming majority to one party, the CNDD-FDD, and marginalised the opposition because of its decision to boycott the process as a way of contesting the results of municipal elections. With one party dominating all institutions and with an authoritarian response to opposition parties who, in the absence of dialogue, could still consider the option of using guns to voice their concerns, democracy and peace are at risk.