Burundi: Evariste Ndayishimiye Wins Presidential Election With 69% Vote

Burundi’s electoral commission on Monday announced ruling party candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye as the winner of the presidential election held last week, securing 68.72% of the vote, reported Reuters.

Ndayishimiye, a retired general, won against the main opposition candidate Agathon Rwasa, and five others. Rwasa, who is deputy chairman of the national assembly, won 24% of the vote. Since Ndayishimiye received more than 50 percent of the vote, he avoided a runoff.

The former general will take over from President Pierre Nkurunziza who has been in power since 2005. Nkurunziza, whose controversial decision to seek a third term in the last election in 2015 sparked mass unrest, violence and an opposition boycott. The violence had left at least 1,200 dead and pushed 400,000 to flee the country. Nkurunziza had decided not to stand for a fourth term and had dubbed Ndayishimiye his heir.

There was a turnout of 88 percent in last week’s election that is meant to usher in the first democratic transfer of power in 58 years of independence. The electoral commission chairman Pierre Claver Kazihise described the voting turnout as “massive” and said the polling, which also included the election of members of parliament and local officials, was peaceful.

But, Therence Manirambona, spokesman for the opposition National Freedom Council (CNL) said the party boycotted the election result announcement as it could not “back this farce”, repeating allegations of massive fraud during Wednesday’s election and the counting process.

“We have all the evidence and the real figures of these elections. We will seek justice,” Manirambona said.

The preliminary voting results released last week signaled a victory for Ndayishimiye, but Rwasa disputed the result as a “fantasy” as s he claimed that the results of the election do not reflect reality.

Burundi’s main opposition party, National Freedom Council (CNL), also pointed out voting irregularities after police detained more than 200 opposition electoral observers during the election.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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