Burundi presidency not confirming Nkurunziza will attend AU Summit, electoral commission vacancies to be filled

NOT IN HURRY TO LEAVE BUJUMBURA:President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi

NOT IN HURRY TO LEAVE BUJUMBURA:President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi

He was almost deposed when he left Bujumbura to attend the regional Heads of State Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on May 13th, and he skipped another emergency summit on Burundi in the Tanzanian capital on May 31st. and now the Burundi Presidency is yet to confirm President Pierre Nkurunziza will attend this weekend’s 25th African Union Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Sources close to the presidency tell this website President Nkurunziza is most likely to stay in Bujumbura and miss the summit that will be attended by more than 50 African Heads of State.

The summit that will be chaired by AU Chairman, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is expected to discuss the political crisis in Burundi and the refugee problem that it has created across the East and Central African region.

Burundian turmoil aside, African leaders will tackle the issue of terror groups; Boko Haram in Nigeria and West Africa, and Al-Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly (Lower Chamber of Deputies) in Burundi has approved Annonciate Niyonkuru and Alice Nijimbere as replacements of the two top officials of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) who resigned a few days ago and fled the country.

Spès-Caritas Ndironkeye, Vice-President, and Illuminata Ndabahagamye, Chief Financial Officer, stepped down allegedly due to the security conditions in the country could not allow them to carry out their duties.

The Speaker of the National Assembly said Friday during the extraordinary session in Bujumbura, the two appointees to replace them were put forth by the opposition party  The Union for National Progress (UPRONA) , and the civil society groups in consultation with other  political parties.

While some opposition legislators wanted to boycott the session, Hon. Pascal Nyabenda, Chairman of the ruling party CNDD-FDD said they cannot let the country plunge into an abyss, hence the need to fill the two vacant positions at the electoral commission.

CENI has already made public a list of 8 presidential candidates to contest the July 15, presidential poll, the notables on the list incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza of CNDD-FDD and Agathon Rwasa of the National Forces of Liberation (FNL).

Rwasa and other 16 leaders of other opposition parties have threatened to pull out of the forthcoming election because of the prevailing insecurity in the country, the fact that Nkurunziza is not withdrawing his third term “unconstitutional” candidacy and the fact that the electoral commission is incompetent to organize free and fair elections.