Burundi bows to mounting pressure, moves elections

President Pierre Nkurunziza addressing the nation, Wednesday

BOWING TO PRESSURE? President Pierre Nkurunziza

Following recommendations from East African Community leaders at their emergency summit on Burundi, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania last weekend, to postpone elections for at least a month and a half, the government in Burundi has responded finally agreed to move legislative and presidential elections to August 26.

The decision to reschedule the election comes following intense local, regional and international pressure on the Bujumbura government to do so until the country is peaceful and stable to allow a free and fair election.

Communal, and legislative election were scheduled to take place Friday June 5, and presidential elections were due June 26.

Opposition leaders, protestors, civil society, regional leaders and the international community and donors have long argued ongoing conflict in the central African nation can not allow the elections to take place whereas President Pierre Nkurunziza, the ruling party CNDD-FDD and the electoral Commission (CENI), have always maintain the anti=third term protests are confined to the capital Bujumbura and that the rest of the country is peaceful.

The turmoil in Burundi started over a month ago when CNDD-FDD nominated Nkurunziza to run for a third term, protestors have been protesting the move saying it violates the country’s constitution, and the Arusha Peace Agreement.

Nkurunziza and his supporters however, argue his third term bid is in line with the Burundian Constitution as he was elected by parliament for the first term in 2005. The constitution stipulates the head of state will be elected by Burundian citizens to two five-year terms.

Protestors have vowed to march until President Nkurunziza drop his controversial candidacy, and the postponement of the elections for 2 months is unlikely to get them off the streets.

  • dsyliver

    Somehow good move by the General Nkurunzinza. But there still no need for him to run for a thrid term for the sake of his people in Burundi

  • akotz

    He does not care about the people of Burundi. He got into power through the power of the gun and he will leave by the power of the gun. It does not matter how many Burundians loose their lives. That seems to be the African way. Very Sad!!