Thursday, June 25, 2015

Burundi: Ruling party rejects any dialogue ahead of elections

The Burundi ruling party has said it will not participate in the political dialogue aimed to create favorable conditions for fair, credible and inclusive elections, the ruling party chairman said here in a press conference.

The statement was made as the dialogue resumed Tuesday under the leadership of Abdoulaye Bathily, UN Secretary-General’s special envoy and new facilitator in Burundi’s crisis in replacement of Said Djinnit who resigned last week.

"The National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) party will not participate in the political dialogue during this period of the electoral campaign because this would distract and disorient the electoral process," said Burundian ruling party (CNDD-FDD) Chairman Pascal Nyabenda.

Nyabenda stressed that it is not possible to participate in both the electoral campaign and the political dialogue at the same time.

"With regards to the appointment of Abdoulaye Bathily by the UN as the new facilitator, the CNDD-FDD party is grateful to the international community’s concern on Burundi, but in our view, instead of rushing on organizing meetings while we have only five days before elections, it would be better for the facilitator to start investigations on the real situation instead of relying on inaccurate reports written by untruthful writers present in Burundi," said Nyabenda.

The Union for National Progress (UPRONA), which is in the government, also rejected dialogue before elections.

In a press conference held Tuesday, UPRONA Secretary General Gaston Sindimwo said:

"The UPRONA will not attend any political dialogue before elections."

Despite the boycott by the ruling party (the CNDD-FDD) and the UPRONA, the opposition and the civil society attended the dialogue that resumed Tuesday at the office of the UN Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi (MENUB).

The dialogue started secretly on May 5 between the government, the opposition and the civil society under the auspices of the MENUB.

In the aftermath of the regional summit held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanazania on May 31, the opposition refused the facilitation of Said Djinnit, accusing him of "siding with the government" and last weekend, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Abdoulaye Bathily as the new facilitator.

The opposition and the civil society are against the third term bid of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza in the upcoming presidential election.

The unrest caused by protests that kicked off on April 26 mainly in the country’s capital Bujumbura has left more than 70 deaths, according to the Burundian civil society.

Burundi is to hold elections in June and July, with the legislative and communal polls due on June 29.

The electoral campaign for legislative and communal polls is expected to end on June 26.

The presidential election is to be held on July 15 and senatorial elections on July 24.

- Xinhua


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