Ndayishimiye wins Burundi election petition

Saturday June 06 2020

Agathon Rwasa, presidential candidate of Burundi's main opposition party CNL, speaks to media after filing a petition against the result of presidential and general elections at the constitutional court in Bujumbura on May 28, 2020. PHOTO | AFP

By The EastAfrican

The main opposition candidate in the just concluded Burundi elections is negotiating for soft landing after constitutional court upheld election of Evariste Ndayishimiye as president.

Opposition leader Agathon Rwasa said: “We are going to see how we can negotiate with the government because this decision shouldn’t be the cause of bloodshed in the country.”

At the same time, Mr Rwasa has hinted at seeking redress at the East African Court of Justice in Arusha, Tanzania.

Mr Rwasa sought constitutional court intervention to annul the election, saying it was marred by irregularities.

Mr Rwasa, who is also the deputy speaker of parliament ran against Mr Ndayishimiye in the May 20 election, accused the ruling party of rigging the election.

In an interview with The EastAfrican, Mr Rwasa accused Independent Electoral Commission of announcing the provisional results before tallying was concluded.


“The day the electoral commission announced the provisional results some provinces were yet to finish vote counting. We had to go to the constitutional court because we believed the court was neutral, but now we have to comply with the law, even when the irregularities are so obvious,” said Mr Rwasa.

Among the eight arguments submitted by Mr Rwasa included gross irregularities, saying dead voters are still on the register.

He also complained that his agents were arrested while others were kicked out of the polling station before vote counting began.

Compelling evidence

However, Burundi’s constitutional court president Charles Ndayiragije said there was no compelling evidence for the incidents alleged by Mr Rwasa.

“For that reason, we announce that CNDD-FDD’s presidential candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye won the elections and will be declared the president of the republic for a seven-year term” said Mr Ndayiragije.

Mr Ndayishimiye, the secretary general of CNDD-FDD, won the presidential election by 68 per cent of the votes, with second placed Mr Rwasa, garnered 24 per cent.

Seven candidates were in the running to replace the incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza, who has ruled the country for 15 years. The other candidate was fronted by Uprona, who came third.