by Musa Abdullahi & Agency Reports
Burundi’s president was Saturday declared as the ruling party’s candidate for a third term in office, despite mounting protests over a move the opposition says is unconstitutional.
Opposition figures warned that President Pierre Nkurunziza’s effort to cling to power could push the central African nation back into violence.
They also vowed to defy a nationwide ban on demonstrations and warnings the army could be deployed. The country, situated in Africa’s troubled Great Lakes region, only emerged from civil war in 2006.
In Nigeria, Former President Olusegun also wanted third term mandate to continue ruling after two terms but was challenged by stiff opposition both within and outside his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council on Friday called upon all parties in Burundi to “refrain from any acts of violence and intimidation before, during, and after elections” in the country.
“The members of the Security Council stressed the need for the government and political opposition to refrain from any acts of violence and intimidation before, during, and after elections and to actively support the conditions for a peaceful, timely, credible and inclusive elections process,” the 15-nation UN body said in a statement issued to the press here Friday night.
“In this regard, they condemned the March 15 assassination attempt against the wife of opposition leader Agathon Rwasa,” the statement said. “They also expressed concern with the impact of this situation on the region, including reports of increased Burundian refugee flows into Rwanda by persons who cited a fear of violence.”
Burundi is scheduled to hold communal and legislative elections on May 26 followed by presidential elections on June 26 and senatorial elections on Aug. 24.
One unique point of Burundi’s 2015 elections is that the process will be monitored by UN electoral observers in conformity with a resolution of the Security Council.