Friday, 17 April 2015
Burundi Elections 2015: President Nkurunziza warned against 3rd term bid
Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza
At least 300 Burundi’s civil organisations have started a campaign warning incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza not to run for a third term in the upcoming elections, and urging the disarmament of the ruling party’s youths league, or Imbonerakure, an alleged militia.
“As soon as President Nkurunziza announces that he will run for his third term, he will light a fire. We will all go to the streets (to protest),” said Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, chairman of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detainees’ Rights in Burundi.
Burundi’s Roman Catholic Church, opposition party and some ruling party officials have announced their opposition against the third term of Nkurunziza and concern over possible violence in case he does that by force.
They say Nkurunziza’s seek for a third term will be a violation of the National Constitution and the Arusha Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation which suggest that a president cannot serve the country for more than two terms.
Nkurunziza was elected by the Parliament in 2005 and re-elected by citizens in 2010.
Vital Nshimirimana, chairman of the Umbrella for Civil Society organisations said the organisations engaging in the campaign named “halt to Nkurunziza’s third term”, have written to the United Nations (UN) Security Council, asking for “appropriate measures” to prevent violence ahead of the elections.
Meanwhile, the organisations urged the government to disarm the ruling party’s youths league.
“We have always denounced the armament of the Imbonerakure… the government has to disarm them in order to hold peaceful elections,” Nshimirimana told a joint press conference.
During his four-day visit to Burundi, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called on the government of Burundi to clamp down the ruling party’s youths wing to ensure peaceful elections.
Nshimirimana said “the army and police have complicity with the Imbonerakure”, thus “they are unwilling to disarm them and bring them before trial.”
The ruling party however denied arming its youth wing.
Burundi is to hold its general elections between May 26 and August 24, with the presidential election to be held on June 26.
Source- IOL News