Burundi’s civil society groups opposed to President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third-term bid, have urged East Africa Community (EAC) leaders to stop “forced elections” in the country as presidential poll has been set on July 15.
The Forum for Civil Society Reinforcement (FORSC), a grouping of 143 such organizations, made the appeal in a letter published over the weekend and has sent it to Nkurunziza and other EAC’s heads of state.
The EAC’s member states include Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
Nkurunziza last week approved a new electoral timetable that will see presidential poll, scheduled for June 26, take place on July 15, which falls short of a call by EAC leaders to delay the elections by at least 45 days.
According to the new dates, parliamentary elections will be held on June 26 and senatorial elections on July 24.
In the letters, FORSC official Me Vital Nshimirimana said “President Nkurunziza’s attempt to force the elections will compromise peace and security in the region.”
The letter was copied to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, South African President Jacob Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, EAC Secretary-General, Richard Sezibera, and Executive Secretary of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, Ntumba Luaba.
The FORSC deplored the fact that the EAC had not found a concrete solution to the problem of Nkurunziza’s re-election bid, Nshimirimana said. Enditem