BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — A supporter of Burundi’s opposition was shot dead Wednesday night, witnesses said, a victim of electoral violence as the country awaits results of the presidential election amid unrest due to President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term.
Results of the presidential election are expected Friday afternoon.
Nkurunziza is expected to win the vote because some opposition groups boycotted. Leading opposition figure Agathon Rwasa said his campaign was frustrated by government security agencies. Critics charge that Nkurunziza’s effort to extend his time in power is unconstitutional.
The U.S. and British governments said the election lacks credibility as a result of government intimidation.
Hundreds of angry mourners attended the funeral on Thursday of Emmanuel Ndereyimana, a member of Rwasa’s FNL political group. Ndereyimana was organizing protests against Nkurunziza’s bid for another term in office, said neighbor Abdul Cimpaye.
Ndereyimana was shot dead outside his parent’s house in the Kinama area and then his attackers, believed to be from the government youth wing, Imbonerakure, threw a grenade on his body, Cimpaye said.
Burundi has been rocked by violence since April after the ruling party announced Nkurunziza would run for another term. Streets protest have left at least 100 people dead. The protests led to an attempted military coup in mid-May which was quickly put down by pro-Nkurunziza forces. On eve of the elections two policemen and an opposition official were killed.
Many fear that Nkurunziza’s drive to retain power could bring renewed conflict to Burundi. Since it gained independence from Belgium in 1962 the country has had four coups and a civil war that killed 250,000 people. An opposition leader has said Nkurunziza’s actions may foster a rebellion.