Burundi holds general election
Burundi is holding its general election today to elect the members of the 100 seat National Assembly. There are also local elections taking place today.
The election comes after months of increasingly violent protests against the President who is intending to stand for a third term in the 15th July Presidential election. More than 70 people have been killed in the violence and over 120,000 have fled the country in fear of more violence. Senior politicians who have disagreed with the President have also been forced to flee the country for fear of their lives.
In the 2010 elections the President’s National Council for the Defence of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) won 81 of the then 106 seats in the National Assembly.
The other party to win seats was the Union for National Progress (UNP) which took 17 seats.
In this election there is a new opposition coalition called the Alliance of Democrats for Change (ADC Ikibiri).
A total of 3,849,728 people will be eligible to vote in the election and polling stations open at 6 a.m. local time. The opposition announced a boycott of the election last week after finding it impossible to campaign. But with ballot papers printed and some election materials burnt in a building that was torched by demonstrators on Friday it is unclear as to the final situation in the country.
Belgium, the former colonial power, has said that it will not recognise the results and the United States has suspended technical assistance to the country’s election commission.