Controversial local polls

AKA
By Armel KARERWA

Provisional results of local polls held on May 24 put CNDD-FDD the ruling party of Pierre Nkurunziza far ahead in the lead with 64% and the former rival rebel group of FNL with 14,5%. Uprona comes in third position with 6,5%, Frodebu 5,6%, MSD 3,75%, UPD 2,21%, Frodebu Nyakuri 1,63% and CNDD 1,26%.

However, eight opposition parties have rejected those results saying that the elections were rigged and asking for a re-run. “Opposition parties categorically reject the provisional results announced Tuesday by the electoral commission because of the mass fraud orchestrated by the ruling party which has marred this vote,” said a joint statement. Agathon Rwasa, leader of FNL has even threatened to boycott the upcoming elections.

The electoral commission challenged opposition to provide evidence of fraud and promised to study the files of the different candidates and check if they fulfill the conditions set out in the electoral law.

Observers including those of EU national organisations, media, church members have concluded that elections went well despite some isolated irregularities and technical problems that couldn’t influence final results at such point.

The controversy provoked by communal polls has caused a climate of distrust amongst politicians and populations. Riots occurred in Kinama, Bujumbura mayorship last Saturday as non counted bulletins were discovered. In Buhinyuza, Muyinga province, a UPD local representative was killed while he was investing on fraud.

For the upcoming presidential when seven candidates including incumbent president Pierre Nkurunziza are running, the electoral commission, the government and independent observers and media will have to watch out more closely to ensure a transparent vote and avoid similar contestations.

The success of the current electoral process is crucial for a lasting peace and socio-economic stability of the small torn apart country of Africa as all political parties and former rebel groups are Burundi are taking part in. There are lots of expectations out of these elections and any compromise to this long way of recovery is unacceptable not only for Burundians but also the region and international community.

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One response to “Controversial local polls

  1. Thanks, Armel, for you good an clear message. As I wrote in my letter to every member, I am convinced that each of you must continue spreading the message of free, transparent and non-violent elections – to friends, colleagues and family, even in the media including on this blog.
    The project you so brilliantly conducted with Peace Direct must be carried on…because any alternative to orderly and non-violent elections are potentially horrible in their consequences.
    You also know that I consider it, in principle, very unlikely that there has been massive election fraud – and even if there has been some and some sheer mismanagement here and there, it could hardly change the overall result. But there will always be people and parties who fish in dirty waters…please help young people in particular to look through these games – if for no other reason, to secure the peace in Burundi. Because…God forbid…non-peace of every kind would be terrible to 99,9% of all Burundians, but perhaps beneficial to 0,01 percent, the un- and under-educated who can still be manipulated by murky forces. Keep strong and thanks for taking the lead on this blog…vcarry its message way beyond this blog, please!

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