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Burundi: Evariste Ndayishimiye Confirmed Newly-elected President

Burundi’s Constitutional Court has this Thursday dismissed a petition challenging the outcome of May 20 presidential election and confirmed the victory of Evariste Ndayishimiye.

The candidate of the ruling party CNDD-FDD polled 68% of the vote.

But the results were challenged by opposition candidate Agathon Rwasa.

Court today said Rwasa’s claims of vote rigging were null and void due to lack of sufficient evidence.

The elected President will serve a term of 7 years.

Ndayishimiye’s inauguration is planned for August 20, 2020.

The East African Community (EAC) congratulated Ndayishimiye, 52, on his victory, saying he was elected “through a generally peaceful, transparent and democratic process.”

Minor incidents of violence were reported in different parts of the country during the polls.

Rwasa, who got 22% of the vote, said his supporters were arrested and jailed days before the polls.

But authorities said arrests were aimed at preventing or containing acts violence during the electoral exercise.

The Community’s Secretary General, Liberat Mfumukeko said the poll “being the first under the new Constitution has set a high bar with respect to supremacy of the people’s will on how they would wish to be governed.”

He said political parties “having exhausted the constitutionally mandated redress channels, the EAC wishes to appeal to all parties to respect the will of the people and accept the outcome. This is the essence of the democracy and good governance that the people of Burundi have been yearning for.”

Ndayishimiye has since listed defence, infrastructure development and improved healthcare as his priorities once he assumes office.

He takes over from President Pierre Nkurunziza who has ruled Burundi for 15 years.

Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary of United States Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs, Tweeted on May 20: “We commend the people of Burundi for their peaceful commitment to the democratic process and exceptional turnout for today’s elections, and urge all sides to continue to refrain from provocations in the days to come.”

Ndayishimiye, who previously served as Deputy Chief of Defense Forces, said that he would focus on modernizing the army as the country continues to grapple with insecurity posed by rebels along its borders.

Many observers say the country still lags behind in terms of building and equipping a modern army to deter regional security threats and secure Burundi’s territorial integrity.

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