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Burundi Polls: US Recognizes President-elect Ndayishimiye

The United States has welcomed the election of Evariste Ndayishimiye as the next President of Burundi but also also urged the outgoing government to investigate alleged acts of electoral malpractices, Chimp Corps report. 

Washington said in a statement on Friday night that that it looked “forward to working with President-elect Ndayishimiye and the new government to strengthen the rule of law and democratic institutions, improve citizen-responsive governance, promote prosperity, and safeguard regional and global security.”

The US State Department spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus said her country “acknowledges the Burundian Constitutional Court’s certification of Evariste Ndayishimiye as the next President of Burundi,” adding,  “We encourage the new government to include a broad representation of political stakeholders.”

Burundi’s Constitutional Court this past 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 said Rwasa’s claims of vote rigging were null and void due to lack of sufficient evidence.

But Washington said as “steadfast supporters of democracy, we call on the government to address reports of electoral fraud and investigate and pursue accountability for all allegations of voter intimidation before, during, and after the elections. We also urge the release of any authorized party representatives and other election observers who were unjustly detained or arrested for engaging in election observation activities, including possessing voting information after polling stations closed, to promote electoral transparency.”

A swift resolution, argued Washington, in accordance with existing laws and procedures, “will help reassure the Burundian people of the new government’s commitment to strengthen respect for the rule of law and allow all its citizens to participate fully and equally in the electoral process.”

The United States saluted the people of Burundi for their resolve for a peaceful ‎transfer of power.

“We also recognize outgoing President Pierre Nkurunziza’s commitment to a peaceful transition. Should it occur, this will be a historic moment for the people of Burundi, as it will represent the first time in Burundi’s modern history that a government came into power peacefully and also peacefully transitioned to a new president-elect.”

The elected President will serve a term of 7 years, replacing Nkurunziza who led the country for 15 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.”

Regional leaders who have congratulated Ndayishimiye include Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and his Somalian counterpart,

Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.

“President Farmaajo has expressed his congratulations to President-elect of Burundi H.E Evariste Ndayishimiye following a phone conversation between their Excellencies this evening. Their Excellencies look forward to working together to further Somalia-Burundi ties and cooperation,” said the Somali President.

Burundi contributed thousands of troops in the war against Al Shabaab in Somalia.

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