New Burundi election date proposed after anti-Nkurunziza protests

Burundi’s electoral commission has set 15 July as the new date for controversial presidential elections.

The proposed date falls short of a call by regional leaders to delay the poll, originally slated for 26 June, by at least six weeks.

Burundi was hit by protests and a failed coup after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced in April that he would run for a third term.

He needs to approve the new date before elections can be held.  Mr Nkurunziza has rejected calls not to run again, despite Western donors cutting some aid to the poor central African state.

Dialogue

The commission has proposed that parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for 5 June, be held on 26 June.
 
None of the opposition parties attended the meeting on Monday where the commission unveiled the new date, Reuters news agency reports.

A group of 17 opposition parties had earlier issued a statement saying they were committed to dialogue, but repeated their demand for the 51-year-old Mr Nkurunziza to quit, it reports.

The commission has proposed that parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for 5 June, be held on 26 June.

More than 20 people have been killed since 25 April in protests against his bid to extend his 10-year rule.

More than 100,000 have fled to neighbouring states, aid agencies say.

The opposition says Mr Nkurunziza’s attempt to run for office again contravenes the constitution, which states a president can only serve two terms.

But Mr Nkurunziza’s supporters argue that he is entitled to another term because he was first elected by parliament in 2005 – not voters. The Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of the president.

Earlier in May, the president survived a coup attempt while he was in Dar es Salaam for talks with regional leaders on the crisis.

The coup bid was launched by Maj Gen Godefroid Niyombare, a former ally of the president9
His whereabouts are unknown.

By:3news.com/Ghana

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