This country’s main opposition leader doesn’t go out in public much because of death threats, but nonetheless says he will run in a June presidential election he has no illusions of winning and wants delayed amid protests and a failed military coup. “We don’t want [President] Pierre Nkurunziza to pretend that there are no challengers,” Agathon Rwasa said. Burundi has been embroiled in turmoil since April, when President Nkurunziza said he would run for a third term despite a two-term constitutional limit. Some 20 people have died amid weeks of protests and more than 100,000 people have fled to neighboring countries. The World Health Organization on Tuesday said the influx of Burundians is overwhelming the health infrastructure and sanitation facilities of a village in neighboring Tanzania.
Mr. Rwasa finds himself stuck in a campaign in which he faces heavy security risks. Two months ago, a gunman shot his wife while she was at the hair salon. She was hit by two bullets but survived, he said. “Many contenders are not campaigning because there is no guarantee of security,” Mr. Rwasa said. He is trying to rally supporters through phone calls, text messages and lots of small face-to-face meetings.
Presidential spokesman Gervais Abayeho said the June election will go on as scheduled. On Wednesday, Mr. Nkurunziza signed a decree to postpone parliamentary elections from May 26 to early June, a presidential spokesman told the Associated Press. “That one has been programmed in such a way that in case there is a second round that there is time for that. The date for the president-elect to be sworn in is fixed in such a way that it cannot be put off,” Mr. Abayeho said.
Full Article: Burundi Crisis Won’t Delay Presidential Election – WSJ.