The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Burundian Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) partnered to hold Burundi’s first BRIDGE training high in the hills of Ngozi, from March 3 – 6, 2010. Bringing together 25 participants from the CENI’s national and provincial bureaus, many of whom were newly appointed 6 months ago, the workshop focused on providing the administrators with the necessary tools and skills to organize key operational elements of the upcoming rounds of elections.
Burundian electoral administrators face challenging months ahead as they move forward with organizing a series of five elections, including local, legislative and presidential. Although the commission is young, it is moving ahead energetically to meet the demands of this electoral year. Through its collaboration with IFES and other international partners including the EU and UNDP, the CENI is developing professional capacity to organize transparent and credible elections in the midst of a tense political situation resulting from years of civil war.
The Ngozi training drew on elements of BRIDGE’s introductory modules as well as a specific focus on polling, counting and results, and electoral access. The BRIDGE training is the first in a series of two trainings to be held. The second training will take place on April 6-9 and will focus on political contestants and electoral disputes.