Search

 

Cablegate: Burundi Centrist Party Leader Sees Party Divisions

VZCZCXYZ0016
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJB #0591/01 2330821
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 210821Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0504
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS BUJUMBURA 000591

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR AF/C

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL BY
SUBJECT: BURUNDI CENTRIST PARTY LEADER SEES PARTY DIVISIONS
AS KEY TO POLITICAL IMPASSE


1. (SBU) Summary: During an August 6 meeting with the
Ambassador, Epitace Bayaganakandi, National Assembly member
for the small Movement for the Rehabilitation of the Citizen
(MRC) party attributed the political impasse stifling
Burundi's progress to the growing internal divisions within
the major political parties. Bayaganakandi explained that
while there are factions in each of the parties committed to
the management of political and economic affairs, there are
others who refuse to participate in the legislative process
and are instead focused on protecting their political images
in preparation for the 2010 elections, a full three years
down the road. Bayaganakandi asserted that his young,
centrist party is satisfied to play the role of mediator
between President Nkurunziza and his major political
opposition. Bayaganakandi conveyed that he urged President
Nkurunziza to seek a vision for Burundi, and to avoid future
scandals by coveting experience over loyalty when naming
individuals to influential positions in the government. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) The leader of Burundi's MRC party and member of the
National Assembly, Epitace Bayaganakandi, shared his
perceptions of the political impasse plaguing the Burundi
government with the Ambassador on August 6. Bayaganakandi
asserted that the root of the stalemate can be attributed to
internal problems within the major opposition parties and
their political ambitions for the 2010 elections.
Bayaganakandi claimed that FRODEBU, UPRONA and the ruling
National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Forces for
the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) party each have 2 wings
consisting of those who actively seek cooperation and
compromise with Nkurunziza's government, and those who refuse
to participate in the legislative process. He noted that
certain factions of the Union for National Progress (UPRONA),
the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU), and even the
ruling CNDD-FDD party do not want to share in the blame and
the responsibility of the problems plaguing Burundi today and
are instead distancing themselves to protect their political
agendas for the future. Bayaganakandi conceded that there
are some in opposition who continue to participate fully in
the parliament, in an attempt to resolve a potential
budgetary crisis, but argued that they are only responding to
the pressure being exerted by Nkurunziza who is
characterizing political abstainers as rebels. Bayaganakandi
lamented that dialogue between the major political parties is
now nearly impossible as goodwill is secondary to achieving
their own political objectives.

3. (SBU) Bayaganakandi stated that his predominately Tutsi
MRC party was less than 5 years old, originating during
Burundi's transitional period following the civil war.
Bayaganakandi declared that the objective of his centrist MRC
party was to be a catalyst for institutional change
throughout Burundi's political, economic and social spectrum.
Unfortunately, he complained, since 2005, little or no
change can be seen other than in the areas of security,
education and health. Instead, Bayaganakandi points to
corruption, human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings and
various financial scandals as the major contributions of
Nkurunziza's ruling government. Bayaganakandi claimed that
the MRC only wishes to stay in their present role as
mediators between the major opposition parties and the
government. Bayaganakandi maintains that his party is
advising President Nkurunziza to keep the promises he has
made to Burundi's people and the international community, and
to respect the constitution. In addition, Bayaganakandi
stated that the MRC party is asking opposition parties not to
form blockages to progress and to allow the financial and
political institutions to keep functioning.

3. (SBU) Bayaganakandi reiterated the necessity for
Nkurunziza's government to initiate a productive dialogue
between all of the political voices. He also hoped that
Nkurunziza would actively seek good and objective advice,
actively seek a political coalition and govern with a vision
for the future. In particular, in light of recent scandals
and political failures, Bayaganakandi urged President
Nkurunziza to take heed of the distinction between political
positions and technical positions. Bayaganakandi explained
that appointees to critical positions cannot be made out of
loyalty without respect to their relative experience. He
pointed to the naming of Isaac Bizimana, a former cashier for
the CNDD-FDD party, as the Governor of the Central Bank and
who is now in custody for possible misappropriation of funds
in the recent Interpetrol scandal. Bayaganakandi also called
upon the international community to facilitate a dialogue

amongst the political factions by reminding all players that
compromise and sacrifice are the keys to successful
solutions.

4. (SBU) Comment: Unlike the FRODEBU and UPRONA parties
and their leaders, the small MRC party has virtually no
aspirations for political dominance in the governance of
Burundi. In that respect, Bayaganakandi spoke rationally and
objectively about his views on the current political impasse.
Although he did not offer more in the way of solutions
besides the ubiquitous call for dialogue, Bayaganakandi did
suggest that the Parliament's disorganized and unproductive
preoccupation with scandals, and the President's inability to
surround himself with capable and independent advisors is
only complicating politician's abilities to keep Burundi
moving forward economically and socially. Bayaganakandi
spoke not necessarily as a politician with an agenda, but as
a Burundian who cared for the future of his nation. End
Comment.
MOLLER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>