BURUNDI: President Nkurunziza Sworn in for Controversial Third Term

BUJUMBURA, AUGUST 21 2015(CISA)-President Pierre Nkurunziza was sworn in for a controversial third term on August 20, following elections in July where he got 69.41 percent of the vote, an immediate first-round victory, reported BBC.

Mr Nkurunziza on Thursday took the “oath for a new term of five years”, in a surprise short notice ceremony on Thursday, his officials said in a statement.

He swore loyalty to the constitution and “to dedicate all my forces to the defense of the best interests of the nation, to assure national unity and the cohesion of the Burundian people, social peace and justice.”

No foreign head of state was present, and only South Africa was represented at the ministerial level.

Several African countries, as well as China and Russia, sent their ambassadors.

The European Union nations and the United States were represented by lower-ranking officials.

His third term bid was followed by weeks of protests, killings and a failed coup, as it was termed unconstitutional.

There has been a string of killings since his re-election, in July including of a top general, killed in a rocket attack last month.

The United Nations observer mission said the vote last month was not “inclusive, free and credible” and was held “in an environment of profound mistrust” between political rivals.

Burundi’s constitution allows a president only two 5-year terms in power. Nkurunziza was elected by parliament in 2005 and re-elected by the people in 2010.

The Opposition and the international community claimed a third term violated the Arusha accords that had ended that a 13-year civil conflict, which raged between 1993 and 2006.

Top international envoys from the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, Belgium and the United States have called on all sides to “recommit to a transparent, inclusive, and comprehensive political dialogue.”

AU chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Sunday called for “utmost restraint” by all sides, warning of potential “catastrophic consequences” for troubled Burundi and the wider region if rivals do not resolve political differences peacefully.

Leave a Reply