Elections in Burundi: should we be wary of elections fully-funded by Burundians and without international observers? – Kivu Press
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Elections in Burundi: should we be wary of elections fully-funded by Burundians and without international observers?

As the media face pressures and restrictions, the electoral campaign for 2020 Burundi general elections, entirely funded by the Burundi governement, was launched on Monday in a climate of mistrust and fear of electoral and post-electoral violences.

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This could be the epilogue of an electoral process carried out at full speed by a regime that has remained deaf to the clamors of a people since May 2015. The presidential, legislative and municipal elections scheduled for May 20 will take place, for the second time, without foreign observers. No foreign body or international institution sent observers to these elections.

The last elections organised in 2015 were organized without foreign observers and against the third consecutive mandate of President Pierre Nkurunziza. The last participation of foreign observers in the general elections dates back to 2010.

The participation of observers guarantees the credibility of the elections.

Visiting Burundi, the United States Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region, J. Peter Pham said that the next Burundian elections in 2020 will be “transparent” if there are “observers”.

“The 2020 elections will be more transparent and credible, if there are Burundian, East African and international observers,” he said on September 12 2020.

Burundi has plunged into a serious crisis, interspersed with violence, since the nomination of President Pierre Nkurunziza in April 2015 for a third mandate which he obtained in July of the same year, in violation of the Constitution and the ‘Arusha agreement which ended the 1993-2006 civil war, according to the opposition, civil society and part of its own camp.

The violence killed more than a thousand people and forced more than 340,000 people to flee the country, according to the report by the UN refugee agency released on August 31, 2019.

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