Saturday, May 23, 2020

What is Happening in Burundi, After the May 20 Elections?
MAY 23, 2020

After a relatively calm election day on Wednesday, the following day was even more peaceful according to the police reports. The whole country is now waiting for the announcement of the provisional results. The Internet is restored in Burundi, but the Iwacu newspaper website is not accessible.

The head of the Burundi Electoral Commission (CENI) urges those who are counting votes to do it carefully and ensure that the outcome is not disputed.

Dr. Pierre-Claver Kazihise, the head of CENI, told media that the first stage after the elections was to collect data from the polling stations.

In an interview, Mr. Kazihise explained to the public that the process of counting the election results is a difficult task that had to take time. Commentators say that five or six days between elections and the announcement of the outcome of the interim are many.

Thursday evening on the television news, Media Synergy supervised by the Ministry of Communication, announced the results of just over 12% of Burundian municipalities.

The score attributed to the candidate of the ruling party, Evariste Ndayishimiye, in these municipalities scattered throughout the country, ranges from almost 80%, against less than 20% for Agathon Rwasa his main opponent.

“I reject them, they are fanciful results, they do not stick to reality,” Agathon Rwasa told RFI, ensuring to have at his disposal “proofs” of what he claims.

The candidate of the CNL Party affirms to have followed closely the results of the poll in the various provinces of Burundi.

“Since yesterday, we have been trying to follow the count. Across the country, the observation is that the CNL comes first. Whether for the presidential, for the legislative or for the municipal elections. All that we wish for all Burundians, especially the CENI and the constitutional court, is to be responsible. “said Agathon Rwasa.

A spokesman for the CNL party said more than 200 members of the party were detained in all provinces of Burundi on Wednesday. Some were released on the same day when they found no valid charges against them.

Terence Manirambona, a spokesman for the CCNL party, said that even on Thursday some people had been arrested in connection with the election.

International Community

In a  Briefing With Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Tibor Nagy on U.S. Support for Combating COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa, Tribor Nagy, the Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs notes that the people of Burundi went to the polls and urges all sides to refrain from provocations or violence, to respect the democratic rights of all citizens, and to use established legal processes to address potential grievances.

“I am optimistic about the potential for progress in the U.S.-Burundi relationship following these elections”, he said

The Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Philippe Goffin, called on Thursday, in a statement released after the presidential, legislative and municipal elections in Burundi, Burundian political actors to work for a “peaceful management” of the post-election in this small country of ‘Central Africa.

“We salute the efforts made by the Burundian citizens who resolutely engaged, for some at the cost of their lives or their physical integrity, in the electoral process which led to the triple ballot of this May 20. A crucial step in the consolidation of the political and institutional stability of the country, “said the head of Belgian diplomacy in a statement.

Mr. Philippe Goffin urges all political actors to systematically defuse any speech and any action likely to jeopardize the good democratic end of this electoral process.

He called political actors to work together in order to create the conditions for the peaceful management of the post-electoral phase which respects the will expressed by the voter.

Fabrice Iranzi,

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