Burundi’s government on Monday held out the possibility of a postponement of elections which have led to weeks of protests and bloodshed. President Pierre Nkurunziza said in April he would run for another term in a June 26 vote. More than 20 people have been killed by security forces in protests decrying his move as a violation of the constitution. Parliamentary and local council elections are also slated for June 5. A summit of leaders of the East African Community – comprising Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma on Sunday called for postponement of the elections for at least a month and a half. Presidential spokesman Gervais Abayeho said the electoral commission was looking into the request and would advise the government.
“They will make a proposal to the government to see if it is possible to make some adjustments on the calendar. But the government is receptive of the proposal made by the summit,” he said.
… Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term unleashed Burundi’s worst political crisis since an ethnically-driven civil war ended in 2005. The president’s supporters say a constitutional court ruling allows him to run again.
More than 90,000 Burundians have fled the country, according to new figures from the U.N.’s refugee agency UNHCR.