The East African Community (EAC) has slammed last week’s presidential polls in Burundi, saying they failed to meet the EAC’s standards for holding free, transparent and credible elections.
“The election process in Burundi was hampered by insecurity, a tense environment, limited media freedom and the violation of fundamental human, civil and political rights,” Abubakar Zein, head of the EAC’s election observer mission, told Anadolu Agency.
Speaking by phone from Mombasa, Kenya, Zein said that EAC poll observers had found a lack of freedom of speech and press during last week’s controversial poll.
“The boycott by the main opposition parties and unsuccessful efforts to build consensus through inclusive dialogue… were among the other issues that hampered the elections,” he said.
The observer mission released its preliminary report to the EAC Secretariat only days after Burundi’s official electoral commission announced that incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza had won the election with almost 70 percent of the vote.
The EAC is an East African regional bloc comprising Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda.