2020 Burundian general election

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2020 Burundian general election

20 May 2020 (2020-05-20)
Presidential election
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2027 →
  Evariste Ndayishimiye (cropped).jpg Agathon Rwasa.png
Nominee Évariste Ndayishimiye Agathon Rwasa
Popular vote 3,082,210 1,084,788
Percentage 71.45% 25.15%

Burundi 2020 General Election Results Map.png
Results by province

President before election

Pierre Nkurunziza

Elected President

Évariste Ndayishimiye

National Assembly election
← 2015
2025 →
Party Leader % Seats +/–
CNDD–FDD Évariste Ndayishimiye 70.98 72 -5
CNL Agathon Rwasa 23.41 27 +6
UPRONA Gaston Sindimwo 2.54 1 -1
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.

General elections were held in Burundi on 20 May 2020 to elect both the president and the National Assembly.[1] Évariste Ndayishimiye of the ruling CNDD–FDD was elected president with 71% of the vote. In the National Assembly elections, the CNDD–FDD won 72 of the 100 elected seats.

Electoral system[edit]

The president is elected for a seven-year term using the two-round system. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the first round, a second round will be held.[2] 100 members of the National Assembly are elected for a five-year term from 18 multi-member constituencies based on the provinces using the closed list proportional representation system. Seats are allocated using the d'Hondt method with a national 2% electoral threshold.[3] A further three members of the Twa ethnic group are appointed, and more members are co-opted to ensure a 60–40 split between Hutus and Tutsis, and a 30% quota for female MPs.[4]


Incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza, in power since 2005, announced in December 2018 that he would not contest the elections.[5] In response, the main opposition alliance, CNARED, announced that they would return from exile in Belgium to participate in the elections for the first time since 2005.[6]

In January 2020, the CNDD–FDD chose the party's secretary general Évariste Ndayishimiye as its presidential candidate.[7] In February, the National Congress for Liberty selected Agathon Rwasa as their candidate.[8]

Gaston Sindimwo, the First Vice President of Burundi, announced he would run as the Union for National Progress nominee.

Dieudonné Nahimana,[9] Léonce Ngendakumana, Francis Rohero and Domitien Ndayizeye also ran in the elections.


In December 2017, the government introduced a voluntary election levy. However, Human Rights Watch accused the youth wing of the ruling CNDD–FDD and local government officials of extorting the money from citizens in the buildup to the elections, sometimes demanding the donation multiple times.[10]

According to the Burundi Human Rights Initiative, election day was marred by irregularities including the arrests of opposition leaders and people voting multiple times. Long queues formed at polling stations.[11]



Évariste NdayishimiyeCNDD–FDD3,082,21071.45
Agathon RwasaNational Congress for Liberty1,084,78825.15
Gaston SindimwoUnion for National Progress73,3531.70
Domitien NdayizeyeKira Burundi Coalition24,4700.57
Léonce NgendakumanaFront for Democracy in Burundi21,2320.49
Dieudonné NahimanaIndependent18,7090.43
Francis RoheroIndependent8,9420.21
Valid votes4,313,70496.18
Invalid/blank votes171,2243.82
Total votes4,484,928100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,113,41887.71
Source: CENI

National Assembly[edit]

The three Twa representatives were from the ASSEJEBA, UJEDECO and UNIPROBA parties.[12]

Burundi Assemblée nationale 2020.svg
National Congress for Liberty1,001,23023.4127532
Union for National Progress108,8652.54112
Front for Democracy in Burundi31,1060.73000
National Forces of Liberation17,8420.42000
Front for Democracy in Burundi–Nyakuri15,5470.36000
Kira Burundi Coalition10,0720.24000
Alliance for Peace, Democracy and Reconciliation6,6230.15000
COPA 20202,5990.06000
Council of Patriots2,3710.06000
Union for Peace and Democracy2,3110.05000
Sangwe PADER2,1420.05000
National People's Front–Imbonenza1,3990.03000
Co-opted Twa members33
Valid votes4,277,65495.82
Invalid/blank votes186,7054.18
Total votes4,464,359100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,113,41887.31
Source: CENI



  • Conference of Bishops of Burundi: Issued a statement criticizing the transparency and freedom of the election process. The church deployed around 2,716 observers across Burundi's 119 municipalities. The conference's observers witnessed intimidation and expulsion of opposition observers from the polling and vote counting stations. The church condemned the ruling party for engaging in national election fraud.[13][14]
  • National Congress for Liberty: The main opposition party filed a case at the Constitutional Court of Burundi challenging the elections and accusing the ruling factions of electoral fraud. The party says they have various instances of evidence where ballot stuffing was conducted. The party aims to take the case to the East African Court of Justice if they are unsuccessful.[14][15]


Due to the travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19 pandemic, there were almost no international observers present in the country.

  • East African Community East African Community: Gave the election a clean bill and expressed its support towards Burundi holding peaceful elections. The body issued a statement saying that "The 2020 Burundi elections hold an iconic place in the history of the nation, marking this the first peaceful and democratic transfer of power. More significantly, the process was domestically driven through own funding. The peaceful conclusion of the electoral process will not only be a big win for the people of Burundi, but for the East African Community as a region."[16]
  • Amnesty International: Condemned the conditions leading up to the election saying that “There were continued reports of killings, arbitrary arrests, beatings and disappearances of opposition members, as well as social media censorship on election day."[17]


  1. ^ Burundi’s main opposition leader announces election bid Andalou, 18 November 2019
  2. ^ Republic of Burundi: Election for President IFES
  3. ^ Electoral system IPU
  4. ^ Elections held in 2005 IPU
  5. ^ Nkurunziza rules out running again Development and Cooperation, 2 October 2019
  6. ^ Burundi's Exiled Main Opposition Alliance Plans to Participate in 2020 Vote VOA News, 16 December 2019
  7. ^ Burundi ruling party picks Ndayishimiye as candidate in May poll Al-Jazeera, 26 January 2020
  8. ^ Burundi opposition party picks Agathon Rwasa to run for president Al Jazeera, 16 February 2020
  9. ^ Griffin, Jo (2020-03-10). "'Not just where people kill each other': the man hoping to transform Burundi". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-03-10.
  10. ^ Burundi: Elections ‘Levy’ Opens Door to Abuse Human Rights Watch, 6 December 2019
  11. ^ Burundians vote despite coronavirus outbreak Deutsche Welle, 20 May 2020
  12. ^ Arret RCCD 388 du 04 juin 2020, les resultats defintifs de l'election des deputes CENI
  13. ^ "Burundi bishops denounce suspect presidential election". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  14. ^ a b "Burundi opposition takes presidential election dispute to court". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  15. ^ "Burundi's rigged election". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  16. ^ "Burundi election results: What next?". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  17. ^ comparative, Isabelle AboafMajoring in Government at Cornell University with an interest in; politics, U. S.; Institutions, International; Methodology, Political (2020-05-29). "Burundi Elects New President Amid Concerns Over Election Integrity". The Organization for World Peace. Retrieved 2020-05-30.