Burundi presidential election not credible, Obama says

Burundi police and military battling protestors against President Nkurunziza's controversial third term bid

Burundi police and military battling protestors against President Nkurunziza’s controversial third term bid

United States President Barack Obama has said the recent president election in Burundi was not was not credible.

Obama appealed to the government and members of the opposition to engage in constructive dialogue aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict and stop further loss of life.

He made the remarks in a joint press conference with his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, Saturday after holding bilateral talks on security, and economic cooperation between Kenya and the United States.

Obama’s disapproval of the July 21 election in the crisis-hit Central African state echoes similar sentiments by the United States Department of State.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement Friday that “Today’s announcement of Burundi’s presidential electoral results is the culmination of a deeply flawed electoral process marked by violence and a disregard for the civil and human rights of the citizens of Burundi”

Kerry added “The United States is deeply disappointed by President Nkurunziza’s violation of the Arusha Agreement and use of undemocratic means to maintain power through an electoral process that was neither credible nor legitimate.”

Meanwhile the main opposition leader in Burundi, Agathon Rwasa of the independent coalition Hope for Burundian has dismissed President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term win, and called for new elections to choose the country’s next legitimate leader.

Rwasa, who won 18.99 % of the vote although he pulled out from the contest however says he is open to joining a unity government on condition its “primary mission is to prepare free and democratic elections”.

Rwasa and other opposition leaders withdrew from the elections but their names remained on the ballot. The electoral commission argues it never received official letters from the candidates withdrawing from the process.

President Nkurunziza won Tuesday’s election by 69.41% of the vote, and maintains he run and win do not violate the constitution as he was appointed by parliament for his first term in 2005. The constitution allows the head of state two five year-terms through universal suffrage.

The Burundian constitution court has validated his candidacy.

Nkurunziza’s controversial third term win is likely to fuel the conflict rather than end it, as renegade generals who organized a thwarted coup in May have threatened an armed rebellion to force the president out of power, and opposition and civil society leaders are not relenting in their fight.

Major donors like Belgium and the United States have threatened to suspend their support to the country.

The conflict in Burundi started in April after the governing party CNDD-FDD nominated the president for a contentious third term. More than 70 people have died and nearly 150,000 have fled to regional countries like DR Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania


  • Omondi karanja

    Get Burundi out East community and spell them out Amisom