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Burundi

Burundi opposition files legal challenge to elections over alleged fraud

Agathon Rwasa speaks to the media after filing his petition at the constitutional court in Bujumbura on 28 May 2020.
Agathon Rwasa speaks to the media after filing his petition at the constitutional court in Bujumbura on 28 May 2020. AFP - -

Burundi’s main opposition party has filed a complaint at the country’s constitutional court over alleged irregularities in the presidential election on 20 May. Evariste Ndayishimiye of the ruling CNDD-FDD party was declared as securing 68 per cent of the vote by the electoral commission. 

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“We have provided all the proof which demonstrates massive fraud that riddled the polls of 20 May,” Thérence Manirambona, the spokesperson of the opposition CNL party, told RFI’s Pierre Firtion

Burundi’s Catholic Church has already criticised the conduct of the elections based upon its observations with 2,716 election monitors. 

“The results that were announced don’t correspond to the choice of the Burundian people,” said Manirambona. CNL candidate Agathon Rwasa submitted the complaint at the constitutional court on Thursday. 

Burundi’s opposition had already complained about the polls and said electoral fraud was planned in advance. 

“We preferred using this route which is legal, that’s to say, the mechanism is there for dealing with all electoral disputes,” said Manirambona. “It's well and truly the constitutional court that you must go and see in the first place.”  

The election, which voted on president, MPs and local councillors, was marked by a social media shutdown by authorities

Human rights groups warned about increased violence linked to political repression during campaigning. 

Ndayishimiye will take over from incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza, who has been in power since 2005. 

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