Ruling Party candidate, Ndayishimiye declared winner in disputed Burundi Presidential vote

Burundi Army Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye, left, is accompanied by current president Pierre Nkurunziza, right, after he was chosen as the party's presidential candidate at a national conference for the ruling CNDD-FDD party; Online Photo

Ruling party candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye is set to take over from President Pierre Nkurunziza having been declared the victor of the bitterly disputed election, with 68.72 percent of the vote.

The election commission, which released the official results live on Burundian media, said that his main opposition rival Agathon Rwasa of the National Freedom Council (CNL), had garnered 24.19 percent of the vote.

The commission said that 87.7 percent of registered voters had turned out to cast their ballots in Wednesday’s election, which also included the election of members of parliament and local officials.

Rwasa and his party have already contested the outcome of the election, saying early results were a “fantasy”, and accused authorities of arresting their agents, and preventing them from observing the vote and taking part in counting.

The election took place without any international election observers, and with scant regard to the coronavirus outbreak which is being largely ignored by the government.

However, some envoys on voting day lauded the election process right from campaigns to voting as very peaceful.

Burundi has been increasingly isolated since the 2015 election of President Pierre Nkurunziza to a disputed third term in office.

Violence which erupted during that poll left at least 1 200 dead and saw 400 000 flee the country.

Persisting turmoil saw the country cut off by foreign donors and its economy plunge, while accusations of major human rights violations have escalated.

The election was expected to usher in the first democratic transition in 58 years of independence for the East African nation following an announcement by President Pierre Nkurunziza, to step down after 15 years in power.



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