The ruling party of Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has swept to an expected overwhelming victory in controversial parliament elections that were boycotted by the opposition, according to official results released Tuesday. The opposition had argued that weeks of protests and a violent crackdown by security forces meant free and fair elections were impossible, and the United Nations said voting took place amid “a climate of widespread fear and intimidation”. The country has also been left without most of its independent media outlets, after several radio stations were attacked and destroyed in fighting during an attempted coup against Nkurunziza in May.
The election commission said the CNDD-FFD party of Nkurunziza, who is seeking a disputed third term in office in upcoming presidential polls, won 77 out of 100 elected seats in parliament, with two more seats going to its ally UPRONA.
Despite the opposition boycott and calls on its supporters not to vote, the coalition Independents of Hope group of Agathon Rwasa and Charles Nditije won 11 seats. The election commission said overall turnout was 74 percent.
“We reject these results because the parliament and legislative elections were not credible,” Rwasa said.