BURUNDI: Presidential Polls Postponed

BUJUMBURA, JULY 14 2015 (CISA)-Burundi’s presidential election has been postponed to July 21 from July 15 following calls by the East African Community (EAC).

“The election is postponed to July 21,” presidential spokesman Gervais Abayeho told Reuters in a phone text message.

The EAC had recommended the delay of presidential polls in order to allow time for mediation between the government and opposition.

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is expected in Burundi on July 14 to commence the mediation process, reported Reuters.

Burundi has been rocked by civil unrest since April 25 after President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to seek a third term in office against the constitution.

President Nkurunziza has ignored calls from the Catholic Church and international governments to drop his bid, saying his candidacy has been judged legal by a court ruling.

The Catholic Church and Opposition parties said they would boycott the elections. They also stayed away from parliamentary polls in June, handing Nkurunziza’s party a sweeping victory.

The constitution requires that the presidential election is held at least a month before the end of the president’s term, which is  in  August 26.

More than 20 people have so far been killed and over 140,000 fled to neighbouring countries for fear of heightening violence.

Diplomats warn the conflict in Burundi could escalate as a general involved in a failed coup in May said he was mobilising troops to oust president Nkurunziza.


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