Burundi presidential poll delayed to July 21

Burundi president Pierre Nkurunziza

Burundi’s presidential election has been postponed to July 21 from July 15, a presidential spokesman said on Saturday. This move comes after African leaders called for a delay in a bid to end the nation’s worst political crisis since a civil war ended in 2005.

President Nkurunziza signed the decree on Friday and was in response to the request made by leaders of east African states plus South Africa.

The African nations had sought a delay until July 30 to give time for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to try to mediate between the opposing groups. Abayeho said such a long delay “would be beyond constitutional limits.” Reuters reported.

According to the country’s constitution, the presidential election is held at least a month before the end of the president’s term, which is Aug. 26.

President Pierre Nkurunziza’s announcement on April 25 that he planned to seek a third term in office triggered weeks of protests by opponents who say it violates the constitution.

Dozens have been killed in protests against Nkurunziza’s re-election bid, mostly in the capital.