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Analysis and adoption of the Senate’s amendments to the draft law on the organisation of the diplomatic service of the Republic of Burundi.

publie le Monday 3 January 2022
parCommunication and Spokesperson’s Office

The National Assembly voted unanimously the amendments of the Senate, Thursday, October 7, 2021, relating to the draft law on the organisation of the diplomatic service of the Republic of Burundi. Nevertheless, the only substantive amendment gave a hard time to MPs who do not have the prerogatives to make amendments upon amendments.

In fact, the amendment proposed by the Senate concerned Article 8 and was worded as follows: Replace the word "Minister" in the third line with the word "Ministry" "The Permanent Secretary holds the highest professional diplomatic office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is appointed by decree". The Senate’s reasoning, which the Standing Committee on Political and Administrative Affairs, External Relations and the East African Community had accepted, was "a typing error".

MPs considered the Government’s version to be correct. “It is the Minister and not the Ministry that has Foreign Affairs in its attributions”. After different exchanges, they concluded that the right term is ’Ministry’.

Thus, one opinion proposed this clarification: "The Permanent Secretary exercises the highest professional diplomatic function under the Minister for Foreign Affairs. He is appointed by decree. Instead of weighing the passage down, it would be better to delete the phrase "to the ministry having foreign affairs in its attributions" altogether, suggested MPs, before insisting that a Permanent Secretary is a technical person, to explain the use of the term "professional". It is the same Permanent Secretary who replaces the Minister in case he is dismissed. To soften the debate, one opinion recalled the two choices that MPs have with regard to the Senate amendments. They have the right to accept or to reject. Finally, the plenary resigned itself to the opinion of the committee in charge.

Note that the bill was adopted unanimously at the end of the plenary session of 17 September 2021.

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