President Pierre Nkurunziza has approved parliamentary elections for June 29 and a presidential poll for July 15. “He has published the decree,” spokesman Gervais Abayeho said on Wednesday. The revised dates were proposed by the electoral commission, CENI. The parliamentary dates were originally set for May and the presidential vote for late June. Burundi’s opposition has rejected the commission’s proposal saying its demands for free elections have not been met.
There have been protests, unrest and a failed coup since Nkurunziza announced in April that he would run for a third term.
The constitution limits presidents to two terms but Nkurunziza has claimed that he was elected by parliament – not voters – in 2005, which allows him to stand again. The Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the president.
Nkurunziza’s spokesman, Philippe Nzobonariba, said on Wednesday that the president’s decision to stand for re-election was “non-negotiable” and the polls would not be delayed again.