Thursday, July 9, 2015

Burundi: Ruling party wins big in parliamentary elections

Burundi’s ruling party swept last week’s legislative polls, winning 77 out of 100 seats in parliament, according to results announced Tuesday by the country’s official electoral commission.

President Pierre Nkurunziza’s ruling National Council for Defense of Democracy-Forces for Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) clinched 60.28 percent of the vote (77 seats), according to official results, while “Hope for Burundians,” an opposition coalition, won 11.6 percent (21 seats).

The UPRONA, meanwhile, an ally of the ruling CNDD-FDD, won 2.5 percent of the vote (two seats), the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) announced.

While the CENI put voter turnout at 74 percent, many critics contested the figure.
In the run-up to the elections, Burundi’s opposition and civil society groups had urged citizens to boycott the poll to protest Nkurunziza’s intention to run for a third term in office in presidential polls slated for July 15.

The opposition says Nkurunziza lacks the right to seek a third presidential term, citing the country’s constitution, which limits the number of terms a president can serve to two. Earlier this year, however, Burundi's Constitutional Court ruled otherwise.

Last week’s legislative poll was marred by ongoing anti-Nkurunziza protests, with demonstrators in a number of areas blocking voters from entering polling booths.

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