Burundian ruling party, CNDD-FDD has called for an extraordinary delegates meeting, where President Pierre Nkuruzinza’s successor ahead of upcoming presidential elections slated May 2020, is expected to be named.
According to a statement by Burundi’s Interior Minister Pascal Barandagiye, the conference will take place in the administrative city of Gitega on Sunday 26th January and a huge turn-up is expected.
Barandagiye said authorities, working with other security agencies across the country will ensure that the venue of the event is secured.
According to sources, the delegates are expected to choose from General Evariste Ndayishimiye the party Secretary-General and Colonel Gabriel Nizigama, with the former expected to win with a landslide victory.
While launching a new constitution that extended the length of a presidential term from five years to seven in 2018 Nkurunziza said he would not run again but the comment was received with skepticism by some observers.
At the time Nkurunziza declared that he would support whoever is selected in 2020 and added that “a man can change his position in bed but he cannot change his word.”
On 26th December last year, Nkuruzinza told reporters, he will not run for another term and that he planned to hold another press conference “before handing power to our successor.”
However, local human rights groups and members of the opposition described the upcoming elections as a ritual and not meaningful to the people of Burundi, allegations repeatedly dismissed by government officials.
His insistence on running again in 2015 had led to deadly political turmoil and allegations by human rights groups of widespread abuses.
In another development, President Nkuruziza has said on Wednesday 15th that making a single Constitution for the East African Community is a hard assignment at the moment because of the existing diplomatic challenges between some member states.
Rwanda is currently having a diplomatic spat with both Uganda and Burundi which has led to closing her borders with the two countries.
He made the remarks while receiving a delegation of EAC expert group currently consulting on single constitution of the bloc.
This group of Experts is charged with the drafting of the constitution which will govern the federal state of the East African community.
Nkurunziza in the end year press conference said his country’s security forces recovered over 1,000 arms from Rwanda since 2014 along with attackers who have confessed to being trained and armed by Rwanda.