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Burundi: Opposition Leader Files Case Challenging Election Result

Burundi: Opposition Leader Files Case Challenging Election Result

Burundi largest opposition party the National Liberation Forces (Forces pour la Libération Nationale, FNL) has filed a petition in the the country’s constitutional court, challenging the result of last week’s polls.

FNL leader Agathon Rwasa in a challenge Thursday that there was significant evidence of fraud after the Election Commission  announced on Monday the ruling party candidate, retired General Evariste Ndayishimiye as the winner of the controversial poll with 69% of votes cast.

“Appalling errors were made across the country, no district or province was spared. We have provided evidence that there has been a massive fraud,” Rwasa told reporters after filing his complaint.

Rwasa who garnered 24% of the vote according to the Commission said “the announced results are false.”

It said Rwasa had garnered 24% of the vote.

Outgoing Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza. He will remain the country’s supreme leader with a villas, a fleet of cars among other privileges.

The May 20 vote to replace President Pierre Nkurunziza, however, had been preceded by political violence including the arrest, torture and murder of opposition activists, according to a local rights group.

There was also controversy over holding the election during the coronavirus crisis.

Hundreds of Burundians were killed and hundreds of thousands exiled after unrest surrounding the last election in 2015, when the opposition accused Nkurunziza of violating a peace deal by running for a third term.

Rwasa said the evidence in his filing showed that people had voted using dead voters’ identities and use of an electoral register which has never been published by the electoral body and ballot box stuffing.

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The Conference of Bishops of Burundi on Tuesday also criticised the election conduct, saying some parties’ observers had been chased from polling stations.

The electoral body’s officials were not immediately reachable to comment on Rwasa’s complaints.

Five other candidates also stood in the polls, in which 5.11 million registered voters were eligible to participate.

© Contains some paragraphs lifted from Reuters

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