Burundi opposition fears unfair elections, threatens boycott

Agathon Rwasa, Burundian opposition leader says his party will not participate in the forthcoming elections.

Agathon Rwasa, Burundian opposition leader says his party will not participate in the forthcoming elections.

Burundi opposition leader Agathon Rwasa, of the Front National de Liberation (FNL) has said that his party will not participate in the coming elections alleging fears of malpractice in the electoral process.

In an interview with Voice of America (VOA), Rwasa said the reason for his doubts is that FNL party has asked the President Nkurunziza to withdraw his candidacy and choose another flag bearer in the presidential race, but in vain.

FNL and other 16 opposition parties in the Central African nation have announced they will participate in the “fraud” polls saying first and foremost the government should heed the recommendations of the regional Heads of State and delay the election for a period not less than a month a half.

The opposition also has repeatedly called upon Presidency Nkurunziza to withdraw his third term “unconstitutional” candidacy. They also argue the National electoral commission is not competent enough to organize election given the fact that two of its 5 top officials have resigned and fled the country.

Despite all the opposition claims and appeals, the government and the electoral commission have announced the presidential poll will take place July 15, communal and lower chamber of deputies June 29, and Senatorial election is due July 24.

President Nkurunziza also remains adamant his third term candidacy does not violate the constitution and that he still intends to run.

This development comes 24 hours after the UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Said Djinnit, resigned as Mediator in the ongoing negotiations between the government and the opposition and civil society.

Djinnit had been accused of government bias by the opposition and civil society organisations in Burundi, they wrote to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon outlining their concerns and demanding he withdraws the official.

The political turmoil in Burundi is expected to top the agenda of the ongoing AU Summit in South Africa.