Burundi-EAC: Joseph Ntakarutimana elected EALA speaker

Burundi-EAC: Joseph Ntakarutimana elected EALA speaker

The election of Honorable Joseph Ntakarutimana as head of the EAC Legislative Assembly makes Burundi a very important country in the decision-making of this community. Burundi is now at the head of three important bodies, namely the Summit of Heads of State, the Legislative Assembly and the Court of Justice of the East African Community. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Burundian parliamentarian, Joseph Ntakarutimana, was elected by his peers in the parliament of the East African community with 85.7% of the vote. The elections were held Tuesday in Arusha, Tanzania at the headquarters of the EAC.

Seven countries that make up this economic bloc were all represented by 9 legislators each, who sit in Arusha. A total of 63 deputies voted and Joseph Ntakarutimana was elected by 54 legislators. He replaced Rwandan Martin Ngoga, for a five-year term. He took up his new duties on Tuesday.

The President of Burundi, Évariste Ndayishimiye, was the first to congratulate him.

“I send my warm congratulations to Right Honorable Joseph Ntakarutimana for his victory in the EALA elections. As you take up your new duties, I assure you of my support as Chair of the EAC Heads of State Summit[…]”.

Joseph Ntakarutimana, is a Tutsi from the province of Ngozi in northern Burundi. Those who know him say he has been a veteran in politics since 1993 under the Sahwanya Frodebu party which won the first democratically organized elections in the small East African nation. He later joined the CNDD-FDD party, where he was given important positions and is a member of the council of elders of the former Hutu rebel movement.

He is currently Deputy Secretary General of the ruling CNDD-FDD party.

His country, Burundi, occupies three important positions in the East African Community.

The Head of State, Évariste Ndayishimiye, is the one who leads the summit of heads of state of the 7 member countries which are Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, newly admitted.

Another important position held by a Burundian is the presidency of the EAC court of justice, headed by Nestor Kayobera.

Some of the Burundian parliamentarians, including Olivier Nkurunziza, chairman of the UPRONA party (Union for National Progress) close to power, appreciate that their country will lead the East African parliament in the next 5 years.

Mr. Ntakarutimana was the sole candidate after a representative from South Sudan stepped down to support Burundi.

Joseph Ntakarutimana, had been sworn in as an EALA deputy on Monday.

The 5th session of the East African parliament is atypical because it is made up of deputies from certain countries who are not in good relations while others have just been reconciled.

Some EAC legislators hope that Joseph Ntakarutimana can emerge victorious from all these problems.

He also said so when he was sworn in, arguing that he wants “everyone to get along well and be on the same airwaves, that there would be no misunderstandings during the debates” adding that he will act as a “mediator in all disputes”.

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