Melchior Ndadaye (March 28, 1953 – October 21, 1993) was a Burundian intellectual and politician. He was the first democratically elected and first Hutu president of Burundi after winning the landmark 1993 election. Though he moved to attempt to smooth the country's bitter racial divide, his reforms antagonised soldiers in the Tutsi-dominated army, and he was assassinated amidst a failed military coup in October 1993, after only three months in office. His assassination sparked an array of brutal tit-for-tat massacres between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups, and ultimately sparked the decade-long Burundi Civil War.
Ndadaye was born in the town of Murama in Muramvya Province. He began studying as a teacher, but his education was interrupted by the massacres of 1972, whereupon he was forced to flee to Rwanda to avoid being killed. He finished his degree in education at the National University of Rwanda, and then completed a second degree in banking at the National Academy of Arts and Trades in France. He worked as a banker thereafter.
Ndadaye had become involved in politics while in Rwanda, serving as the inaugural president of the Mouvement des Étudiants Progressistes Barundi au Rwanda, a movement of exiled Burundian students from 1976 to 1979. He was involved in the foundation of the Burundi Workers' Party in 1979, and was actively involved in the party until his resignation in 1983 as a result of a dispute over party strategy. Ndadaye returned to Burundi in September of that year, by which time he was developing a political following of his own.