Burundi: Electoral body considering new election schedule

Jun 2, 2015, 10:50 AM

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — Burundi’s electoral commission is considering alternative dates for national elections amid growing calls for the polls to be postponed because of political unrest, an official said Tuesday as anti-government protests returned to parts of the capital.

A new electoral schedule is likely to be sent to President Pierre Nkurunziza before the end of the week, Prosper Ntahorwamiye, a spokesman for the electoral commission, told The Associated Press. He gave no details.

Parliamentary elections are currently scheduled for Friday, while the increasingly fraught presidential poll is set for June 26.

Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, has been wracked by weeks of street protests after the ruling party nominated Nkurunziza for a third term — a decision seen by many as unconstitutional.

An emergency meeting by regional leaders last weekend called on elections to be delayed by at least six weeks. But the government has rejected any postponement, saying any political vacuum in the country could lead to even more political violence.

Citing insecurity, Catholic Church leaders here announced last week they had withdrawn support for the elections as scheduled. The European Union also has also suspended its election observer mission in Burundi over concerns about restrictions on the independent media, excessive use of force against demonstrators and intimidation of opposition parties and civic groups.

The U.N. special envoy to Burundi, Said Djinnit, is in the capital consulting with various parties “with a view to resuming dialogue” among them, the U.N. secretary-general’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters Tuesday.

“We remain concerned about the possible escalation of violence,” Dujarric said.

Burundi, a country of 10 million people which exports mostly coffee and depends heavily on foreign aid, experienced an ethnic-based civil war from 1993 to 2003 which killed at least 250,000 people.

The protests in Bujumbura, which have left 20 dead and hundreds injured, came to a head on May 13 when an army general announced a coup against the president which was defeated in 48 hours.

Protesters say Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term is illegal because the constitution only allows for two five-year terms, and some protesters are vowing to stay on the streets until Nkurunziza says he will not run for re-election. Nkurunziza came to power in 2005 and won a second term in 2010. He maintains he is eligible for a third term because parliament elected him for the first term.

___

Associated Press writer Cara Anna at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

World News

People search a collapsed building following an earthquake in Azmarin town, Idlib province, norther...
Associated Press

Death toll soars after powerful earthquake rocks Turkey and Syria

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked wide swaths of Turkey and neighboring Syria on Monday, killing and injuring thousands of people.
2 days ago
FILE - A fuel trucks drives along a highway in Frankfurt, Germany, Jan. 27, 2023. European Union go...
Associated Press

Europe bans Russian diesel, other oil products over Ukraine

The new sanctions create uncertainty about prices as the 27-nation European Union finds new supplies of diesel from the U.S., Middle East and India.
3 days ago
(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
1 month ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
4 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
4 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Burundi: Electoral body considering new election schedule