Burundi unrest force the presidency to move all elections but presidential

President Pierre Nkurunziza addressing the nation, Wednesday

President Pierre Nkurunziza addressing the nation, Wednesday

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has announced the postponement for 10 days of the communal and parliamentary polls that were expected to take place May 26. The elections are now slated to take place June 6.

In his second address to the nation after the failed coup attempt of last week, President Nkurunziza said he has taken the decision in consultation with the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), following complaints from various political actors and recommendations from “many friends of Burundi”.

President Nkurunziza said nothing about moving the presidential poll scheduled for june 26, an election in which he is expected to run for the contentious third term. He stressed the forthcoming elections will take place as scheduled despite turmoil rocking the capital Bujumbura.

“Except these protests which are going in four zones of the capital Bujumbura, 99.9 percent of the country is safe. Elections will take place as planned,” he said, calling residents of protesting zones to make up their minds and choose the right way and stop protesting.

Opposition leader Agathon Rwasa, one of the likely independent candidates challenging Nkurunziza in the coming election says the elections’ calendar issue should be handled by all stakeholders, rather than just the government and the electoral commission.

He goes on to say there’s some other major issues to sort out concerning the election not just the date if the Central African nation is to have a successful free and fair election.

“This additional time is not enough to find solutions to key problems such as disarming the imbonerakure militia, repatriating refugees who fled those militia and dire security conditions, and reopening radio stations attacked and shut by police,” Rwasa said. He is running under the political coalition dubbed “Hope for Burundians”.

He is calling more time until peace and security are restored.

Former president Sylvestre Ntibantunganya is calling upon all parties to sort out their differences through dialogue.

“Just to mention few, tell me how you can expect free and fair elections while there are reports of weapons being in the wrong hands, while Burundians have been denied their right to information because radio stations have been shut, while thousands of Burundians are fleeing their country?” wonders former president Ntibantunganya, who is also contesting for the top job yet again.

This Wednesday, violence raged on around Bujumbura, one soldier was shot dead by a policeman who shot live bullets to disperse demonstrators in one of the central neighborhoods of Bujumbura.

Elsewhere, police confronted angry protesters in various places of the north and south of the capital Bujumbura where they used grenades, gun fire and tear gas against stone-wielding protesters.

Preliminary statistics from the Red Cross indicate about 18 people have sustained injuries in the clashes between police and protesters today, overall more than 20 people have died in the anti-3rd protests triggered by CNDD-FDD’s decision to nominate Pierre Nkurunziza as their candidate for president in the forthcoming election.

 

 

 

 

  • dsyliver

    Sometimes you need a robotic heart to make such decisions. Actually this would happen in Africa, call it developing states. On serious note, my brother General Nkurunzinza was supposed to politely quit. This doesn’t mean he would lose regacy NO! Even if he wanted 60yrs in power he shoukd remember one day he will kiss the land.

    Let him leave Burundi to Burundies …GOD bless Africa