Monday, July 6, 2015

Burundi: EAC wants delay of presidential elections

East African Community ministers negotiating a peace deal in the Burundian crisis now want the presidential elections set for July 15 postponed by one and a half a months.

The council also wants the Burundian government to release all leaders it arrested as a way of encouraging dialogue.

Several key national figures in Burundi including the Vice President and the Speaker of Parliament have fled the country as the political crisis continued unabated.

The team of ministers and their delegations, including Kenya’s East African Affairs and Trade Minister Phyllis Kandie, want President Pierre Nkurunziza to form a government of national unity that includes Opposition leaders in order to facilitate national healing.


The EAC ministers have already described the parliamentary and local elections conducted in the country last month as not being up to standard as they were held under conditions that do not favour democratic principles.

A communique sent to newsrooms by the council of ministers after their meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Monday morning also agreed to encourage Burundi to establish a confidence-building period.

The ministers want President Nkurunziza to remain in power during the healing process before a new presidential election date is confirmed.

They want the elections moved forward “to ensure conditions conducive for free, fair, peaceful and credible elections are in place”.

Parties in Burundi are to be committed to an agreement that will see an end of violence and the initiation of continuous dialogue run by agreements made through consensus under the current president.

The ministers also want African Union military experts deployed to Burundi to verify ongoing disarmament of militias operating in the troubled state.

And the Burundian government insisting on the July 15 date for presidential polls want the EAC and the AU to deploy their observers and prevail upon the Opposition to accept results.


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