Election Universe

Top 10 facts about Burundi’s presidential election

Top 10 facts about Burundi’s presidential election
July 21 2015, 21:57
  1. Burundi’s presidential election will be held July 21, after been postponed by nearly a week. The postponement comes as a response to a request by leaders from the East African Community plus South Africa, to try to stop worsening violence in the central African state.
  2. The Government agreed with a delay in the vote, but said the election should be held no later than July 26. Under Burundi’s constitution, polls must be held at least one month before the presidential mandate expires (August 26).
  3. Burundi has been hit by violence since April, when President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would run for a third term. Over 70 people have been killed in more than two months of protests. According to the latest UN figures, some 158,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.
  4. Protesters say President Nkurunziza must go after serving two terms, the maximum allowed under the country’s Constitution. They argue that besides of being unconstitutional, a third term in office would be contrary to the spirit of the 2000 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi that ended a 12-year civil war.
  5. Burundi held parliamentary and local elections on June 29. International groups, including the African Union and European Union, withdrew observers. The US and the EU have threatened sanctions on individuals behind Burundi’s violence and have cut some aid to a nation that depends on donors to fund about half its budget.
  6. The governing party (the National Council for the Defence of Democracy-Forces for the Defence of Democracy, CNDD-FDD) won a majority of seats in the Parliament (77 of 100 seats), according to provisional results, which most opposition groups boycotted.
  7. Burundi’s opposition is also boycotting the presidential election, saying a decision to seek a third term violates the constitution. President Nkurunziza cites a court ruling, saying he can run again.
  8. Seven independent UN human rights investigators said the UN Security Council must intervene in Burundi, the world’s third poorest country, to prevent mass atrocities and the risk of a regional conflict.
  9. According to Reuters, after weeks of protests and violence armed clashes have erupted in a nation still scarred by civil war between Hutus and Tutsis.
  10. All the region, with a history of ethnic conflicts, will be affected if the ethnic card is played again. Rwanda, victim of a 1994 genocide and which has the same ethnic mix as Burundi, has vowed not to let such slaughter happen again.

Image by quentcourtois0 via Pixabay

Sources: The New York Times, Huffingtonpost.com, Reuters