Five Burundian opposition parties as well as members of the ruling party opposed to a third term bid by President Pierre Nkurunziza have urged their supporters to protest on Wednesday to oppose the latter’s candidature, a local radio station reported on Tuesday.
According to RSF Bonesha FM, the concerned political parties include Front for Democracy in Burundi-Nyakuri (FRODEBU-Nyakuri), the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD), the National Council for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD), the Union for Peace and Democracy (UDP), the Front for Democracy in Burundi- Sahwanya (FRODEBU-Sahwanya) as well as members of a new political movement from the ruling party who are opposed to Nkurunziza’s third term bid.
FRODEBU-Nyakuri president Jean Minani who spoke on behalf of the five political parties, called for nonviolence during the protests.
“I want to appeal to all Burundians, those who are members of our parties and those who are not, to come out and reject this attempt to violate Burundi’s Constitution as well as the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi (AAPRB),” Minani said.
Reacting to the call by the opposition, Burundi’s interior ministry said Wednesday’s protest was illegal and punishable in accordance with the law regulating demonstrations in public places.
Deputy Interior Minister Therence Ntahiraja said “anyone who violates the law by disrupting public order and destroying public property will face severe punishment.”
The deputy minister said his ministry had asked provincial governors and mayors in Bujumbura to collaborate with security services to ensure that the population goes on with normal activities.
Nkurunziza was elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2010. His supporters have urged him to contest for a third term during the June 26 presidential elections, yet the AAPRB that was signed in Arusha in 2000 to end the Burundian civil war stipulates that a president should serve for only two terms. Enditem