Results, says it was lawful
accounted for 19.37 per cent. Invalid votes accounted for 4.1 per cent and abstentions accounted for 3.27 per cent.
“No major irregularities that could influence the poll results were found during the analysis of the report sent by the National Independent Electoral Commission,” the judge said. “The court therefore considers that the constitutional referendum took place in accordance with Burundian laws.”
The court’s president also said the complaint made by the opposition coalition Burundians’ Hope over the regulations and the results of the vote was found groundless.
The new constitution creates the post of prime minister and cuts the number of vice presidents from two to one. The prime minister is to be designated from the ruling party, while the vice president will come from a different party.
Burundi’s opposition had filed a petition in the constitutional court in a bid to invalidate the result of the referendum.
Spokesman for the parliamentary group, Pierre-celestin Ndikumana, told the media that “there was a lot of intimidation and arrests, with people prevented from participating in our campaign meetings.
“The vote was not free because people were accompanying voters in the polling booth,” he said.
Observers had widely expected the reforms to pass, partly due to the support President Nkurunziza still commands in rural areas, but also due to a three-year crackdown on dissent, the media and civil society.
The US denounced the “climate of fear and intimidation” and “lack of transparency” it said had marred the referendum and questioned the results.