Major General Juvénal Habyarimana. Habyarimana gave a distinctly regional coloration to the institutions of the state during his 21 years in power.
North-south polarities eventually gave way to subregional factions within the northern establishment. By 1980 the principal factions were the Bashiru and Bagoyi elements, respectively identified with the Bushiru and Bugoyi subregions. Habyarimana sided with the Bashiru faction and was the target of an abortive, Bagoyi-inspired coup in April 1980. Thereafter Habyarimana remained in power by holding referenda in 1983 and 1988, thus circumventing the stipulation in the 1978 constitution that the president serve only a single five-year term.