Subscribe

Can Burundi hold election on July 15, amid violence?

In reaction to persistent, near-daily demonstrations, the electoral commission has proposed a new date of July 15. Now, it's down to President Nkurunziza to respond.

  • close
    Mourners in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, march and sing songs against President Nkurunziza running for a third term at the funeral of a protestor who was shot dead by police Friday. One holds a banner in French reading 'Stop the assassination of students.'
    Gildas Ngingo/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Burundi's electoral commission proposed Monday that a presidential election be held July 15 in the Central African nation despite persistent violence over the president's disputed bid for a third term.

Gunfire rang out Monday as heavily armed police in Bujumbura, the capital, surrounded some neighborhoods in a bid to stop protesters from gathering. The city has seen near-daily protests.

A new electoral schedule has been sent to President Pierre Nkurunziza for his approval, Prosper Ntahorwamiye, a spokesman for Burundi's electoral commission, told The Associated Press. The presidential poll had previously been scheduled for June 26.

Recommended: How can Venezuela resolve its political crisis? Six views.

The commission also set June 26 as a possible new date for choosing members of the national assembly, he said Monday. The panel is now awaiting a presidential decree either confirming those dates or setting new ones, he said.

Frederic Bamvuginyumvira, a prominent opposition figure, said the electoral commission lacked the legal authority to make any pronouncements because two of its five regular members are believed to have fled the country. More than 90,000 Burundians have fled the country, fearing violence.

Burundi has been hit by political unrest since the announcement April 25 that Nkurunziza would seek a third term in office, which many see as unconstitutional. The country's constitutional court has ruled in favor of him, however.

Amid the chaos, the regional bloc known as the East African Community had asked the Burundian government to postpone the elections for at least 45 days to calm the situation.

Burundi has had a long history of political upheaval, including political assassinations and coups.

Protesters say Nkurunziza's bid for a third term is illegal because the constitution only allows for two five-year terms. Some protesters are vowing to stay on the streets until Nkurunziza says he will not run.

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.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK