Burundi – Eight Candidates Aspire for Presidency

One of the candidates is incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza who is running for controversial third term.

Burundi’s Electoral Commission headed by Pierre Ndayicariye is set to examine the files of eight candidates who submitted their nomination papers to the institution at the close of the official period to submit candidature files for the country’s presidential election slated for June 26, 2015, RFI reported.

Incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza whose candidature to run for the third term of office has been violently contested by the opposition, respected the deadline and submitted his nomination papers on Saturday, May 8, 2015. He has been given the green light to contest the June 2015 presidential poll by Burundi’s Constitutional Court that ruled on Monday, May 4, 2015 that he could run for the election despite growing criticisms by home-based civil society organizations, the opposition and some international organizations. The ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) nominated incumbent Nkurunziza its candidate on April 25, 2015.

The other candidates whose nomination papers are to be examined by the electoral commission include two former Presidents Domitien Ndayizeye, one of the transition Heads of State who ruled from 2003 to 2005. The other former President is Sylvestre Ntibantunganya who was Head of State from 1994 to 1996. Agathon Rwasa head of a coalition called laquo les Indeacutependants de l’espoir raquo presented his candidature file as an independent candidate.

Jacques Bigirimana chairperson of the rival faction of National Liberation Front (Front national pour la libeacuteration) FNL recognised by government is also in the race for the presidency. Other aspirants who submitted their files include Gerald Nduwayo of the legal wing of UPRONA, Jean Minani who had been twice the Speaker of the National Assembly and Jean de Dieu Mutabazi who is candidate of a group of parties called Coalition of Political Parties for Participative Opposition (COPA) considered to be pro-government.

Speaking after filing his candidacy, Mr Nkurunziza said, “Burundians have no problem with elections… because 99% of the country is peaceful,” BBC quoted. On violent protests to his re-election bid, he is quoted as saying, “These demonstrations have turned into insurrection, but it is something that will be controlled… and I assure you that the elections will go well.” In another development, campaigns for the May 26, 2015 legislative election have been launched.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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