Voter registration started Thursday across Burundi for the country’s constitutional referendum in May and its general elections in 2020.

The 10-day combined registration of voters will end on Feb. 17.

After registering, citizens are given receipts that will allow them to get voter cards.

According to the National Independent Electoral Commission, 3,828 registration centers will open for voter registration throughout the country.

In the capital city Bujumbura, however, few citizens reported to registration centers on Thursday.

In Nyakabiga zone near Bujumbura city center, most voter registration centers opened around 11 a.m., rather than the scheduled 7:30 a.m., due to what were described as “logistical problems.”

“I have registered in order to be able to participate in the referendum on the constitution and in general elections due 2020,” said Celestin Nsabimbona. “I am very glad because this is a civic action.

Burundian First Vice-President Gaston Sindimwo also registered in Nyakabiga, his native neighborhood.

“I came here to register for the referendum on the constitution and also for general elections due in 2020,” said Sindimwo. “I have bought a ticket that will allow me to participate in a game or to watch a game. The ticket is very important.”

He called on citizens and specifically leaders of political parties to be ready to participate in the race soon to start.

In December 2017, the electoral body said the referendum on the country’s constitution will be held in May.

The draft constitution extends the presidential term from five years provided for in the 2005 constitution to seven years and allows the president to serve two consecutive terms.

It also provides for the creation of a post of a prime minister and only one vice-president, whereas the 2005 constitution provided for two vice-presidents.

@xinhuanet.com

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