Burundi’s opposition to contest election results

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza (R, front) and Evariste Ndayishimiye (L, front), presidential candidate and secretary general of the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDDD-FDD) of Burundi, attended a campaign rally in Gitega, central Burundi, April 27, 2020. (Photo by Evrard Ngendakumana/Xinhua)
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza (R, front) and Evariste Ndayishimiye (L, front), presidential candidate and secretary general of the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDDD-FDD) of Burundi, attended a campaign rally in Gitega, central Burundi, April 27, 2020. (Photo by Evrard Ngendakumana/Xinhua)

Burundi’s main opposition party, the National Council for Liberty (CNL), pledged to challenge in court the decision declaring ruling party candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye winner of the just concluded presidential election.

Ndayishimiye secured 68.72% of the vote, Burundi’s electoral commission said on Monday, defeating six challengers in the race to succeed current president, Pierre Nkurunziza.

The CNL’s candidate Agathon Rwasa had already accused the government of “cheating” and “pure manipulation”, saying the results were “fanciful”. However, he stated that he had no plans to protest the results at this time and would settle for an appeal to Burundi’s Constitutional Court.

Therence Manirambona, spokesman for the CNL, criticised the exercise labeling it a “farce” which was marred by “massive fraud”.

“We have all the evidence and the real figures of these elections. We will seek justice,” Manirambona told German news agency dpa.

Ndayishimiye, dubbed as Nkurunziza’s “heir”, is expected to be sworn in for a seven-year term in late August when Nkurunziza’s term ends.

The May 20 election may be Burundi’s first democratic transfer of power in its 58-year-history.