BURUNDI: Elections go on Despite Delicate Security Situation

BUJUMBURA, JUNE 30 2015 – The Parliamentary Elections in Burundi went on, Monday June 29 despite international calls to postpone the controversial elections.

The Electoral commission though expecting 3.8 million people to vote reported delays and low voter turnout, as many people feared eruption of violence.

Many polling centres in the capital were relocated at the last minute for security reasons.
Sporadic gunshots and blasts were reportedSunday night but elections went on amid heavy security presence especially in the capital, but polling stations closed early due to low voter turnout and fear of unrest.

The Catholic Church had in the month of May decided to abstain from the election saying that it was full of gaps.

In a statement, The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi through its president Bishop Gervais Bashimiyubusa, of Ngozi said, “We cannot make ourselves guarantors of elections full of gaps.”

The African Union and the European Union abstained from being observers at the election saying that conditions for a free and fair election were not met.

Skirmishes erupted early April in the land-locked country after president Pierre Nkurunziza announced his bid to run for presidency for a third term against the provision of the National Constitution that allows a president only two terms in office.

According to The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 127,000 Burundian have fled to neighbouring countries since the eruption of skirmishes this year.

Presidential elections are scheduled to take place on July 15.

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