Bu­rundi par­lia­ment head leaves coun­try

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The head of Bu­rundi’s par­lia­ment on Sun­day said he had left the na­tion due to the vi­o­lence rag­ing there and urged the pres­i­dent not to seek an “illegal” third term.

“For the mo­ment, I am forced to stay in Brus­sels ... I stayed here given the dif­fi­cul­ties in my coun­try, dif­fi­cul­ties which are due to the illegal third man­date of the pres­i­dent of the re­pub­lic,” Pie Ntavy­ohanyuma told France 24 news chan­nel in an in­ter­view from Brus­sels.

“On the eve of the elec­tion ... I would like to say to him (Pres­i­dent Pierre Nku­run­z­iza) that the man­date he wants to have is illegal. I would like to say to him that forc­ing through the elec­tion is sense­less,” added Ntavy­ohanyuma.

All the me­di­a­tors in the coun­try are urg­ing Bu­rundi to post­pone the elec­tion to have an “in­clu­sive” vote, noted the par­lia­men­tary pres­i­dent.

“He could give up and ... or­ga­nize in­clu­sive elec­tions which could rec­on­cile all Bu­run­dans who have been ex­iled to re­turn to Bu­rundi,” he said.

He called on Nku­run­z­iza to per­form a “pos­i­tive U-turn.”

U.N. Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Kimoon has called for Mon­day’s polls to be scrapped af­ter the op­po­si­tion said it would not take part, as Bu­rundi faces its worst cri­sis since its civil war ended nine years ago.

Three peo­ple were killed overnight Satur­day, adding to the more than 70 who have lost their lives in vi­o­lence and an at­tempted coup sparked by Nku­run­z­iza’s bid to stay in power for a third term.

The op­po­si­tion has said it will boy­cott the polls, claim­ing it is not pos­si­ble to hold a fair vote with more than 127,000 peo­ple hav­ing fled into neigh­bor­ing coun­tries for fear of fur­ther vi­o­lence.

Par­lia­men­tary and lo­cal elec­tions are set to be held on Mon­day, ahead of a pres­i­den­tial vote on July 15.

De­spite the vi­o­lence, Bu­rundi’s na­tional elec­tion com­mis­sion has said that ev­ery­thing is ready for elec­tions in the cen­tral African na­tion.

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