A senior U.N. official is warning progress in Burundi is in danger of slipping away as President Pierre Nkurunziza presses ahead with controversial plans to seek a third term. U.N. Deputy Political Chief Taye-Brook Zerihoun told the Security Council the security situation in Burundi has been tense and volatile since legislative and communal elections were held on June 29. Opposition parties boycotted that vote and are calling for Nkurunziza not to run for a third term, which they say is unconstitutional. “Burundi is on the brink again.The grave danger the country faces should not be underestimated, given the increasing polarization and the apparent choice of Burundian leaders to put personal interests before those of the country,” he said.Full Article: UN: Burundi on Brink Again.
Burundi goes to the polls on Monday with the president defiant in his controversial bid for a third term in power, despite weeks of unrest that forced thousands to flee and prompted international calls for a delay. On the eve of the election, a top party official and parliament head, Pie Ntavyohanyuma, said he had joined about 127,000 Burundians who have fled the country, denouncing president Pierre Nkurunziza’s “illegal” bid to stay in power for a third term. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has echoed calls for the elections to be delayed after the opposition said it would not take part, as Burundi faces its worst crisis since its civil war ended nine years ago.Full Article: Burundi election goes ahead despite claims president's bid is 'illegal' | World news | The Guardian.
Voting in Burundi’s controversial elections opened on Monday despite a string of grenade attacks on polling stations, the latest in weeks of violence sparked by the president’s defiant bid for a third term. Assailants threw grenades in both the capital Bujumbura and at some provincial voting centres ahead of Monday’s parliamentary and local elections, delaying the start of voting in many areas, police and election officials said. Another grenade exploded in the capital shortly after voting began.Full Article: Grenade attacks as Burundi holds controversial elections - Telegraph.
Opposition parties said on Friday they would boycott Burundi’s elections in protest at the president’s bid for a third term and over concerns voting would not be fair, escalating the African nation’s worst political crisis since a civil war ended in 2005. Highlighting international worries about a region that has a history of ethnic conflict, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said voting should be postponed because he was “deeply concerned over the prevailing political and security environment”. The United States said that it was putting electoral assistance to Burundi on hold because President Pierre Nkurunziza was pressing ahead with an election timetable in the absence of conditions necessary for a credible vote. A parliamentary election is due to take place on Monday with a presidential vote to follow on July 15. Both have already been pushed back after weeks of protests against Nkurunziza’s announcement in April he would stand again.Full Article: Burundi crisis escalates as opposition boycotts elections | Reuters.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has conveyed his “strong expectation” that the Government of Sri Lanka will ensure “the peaceful and credible conduct” of its upcoming Presidential election. The Secretary-General spoke on the phone with Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs Prof. GL Peiris on 24 December and reaffirmed the UN’s continuous support for reconciliation, political dialogue and accountability as the country heads towards the election on 8 January 2015.Full Article: Sri Lanka : UN chief calls for \'peaceful and credible\' election in Sri Lanka.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday urged Libya to stick to its plan to hold parliamentary elections on June 25 and defended the United Nations’ goal of organizing a meeting to promote reconciliation among the North African country’s competing factions. “The secretary-general continues to follow closely the situation in Libya and stresses the importance of the peaceful and timely holding of elections on 25 June,” U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters. “He also commends UNSMIL’s (U.N. Support Mission in Libya) work in the areas of good offices and facilitation of dialogue, which it carries out with impartiality and openness to all national parties concerned,” he added.Full Article: U.N. chief urges Libya to hold June 25 elections as planned | Reuters.
Five candidates in Guinea Bissau’s aborted presidential election united to condemn last week’s coup, as West African delegates arrived for overnight talks with military and political figures. The April 12 military coup tipped the restive impoverished west African country into fresh chaos and interrupted a second-round presidential vote on April 29. UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Monday that a move by the coup leaders to declare a transitional government would only worsen the crisis in the African nation. Ban will “intensify cooperation” with international governments and bodies to deal with the situation following last Thursday’s coup, said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey. For its part the junta insisted that it was in control of the situation in the west African nation and urged the population not to panic.Full Article: IC Publications | African Business | New African | New African Woman | African Banker | The Middle East | African Business (en français) | New African (en français) | New African Woman (en français) | African Banker (en français).
The United Nations Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) said it’s pleased with the peaceful conduct of Sunday’s presidential election in the West African nation. Citizens voted to elect a new president, who will succeed Malam Bacai Sanha who died in January. UNIOGBIS spokesman Vladimir Monteiro said the electoral commission is constitutionally mandated to announce the final outcome of the vote within 10 days of the election. “The election was held in a very peaceful manner,” said Monteiro. “In the morning, participation was relatively weak but, all day long, leaders of the electoral body encouraged the people to go and vote, and it seems that people listened and went to vote because the participation finally increased.” Several international organizations, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, called Bissau Guineans to peacefully vote in Sunday’s presidential election.Full Article: UN Mission Pleased With Peaceful Election in Guinea Bissau | Africa | English.
With preparations for the upcoming general elections in full swing,Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the people of Liberia to do everything possible to ensure the polls are free, fair and peaceful.
The presidential and legislative polls, scheduled for 11 October, will be second round of democratic elections since the end of the decade-long conflict in Liberia that killed nearly 150,000 people, mostly civilians, and sent 850,000 others fleeing to neighbouring countries.
“The success of these elections, and the peaceful inauguration of a new administration, will be critical to the consolidation of the tremendous progress the country has made over the past eight years,” Mr. Ban writes in his latest report to the Security Council on the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).Full Article: Upcoming elections in Liberia must be peaceful, free and fair – Ban.
Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) said on Thursday it has invited international representatives and organisations to observe the July 3 general election. Election Commissioner Prapan Naikowit disclosed the information as he and EC Secretary-General Suthipol Thaweechaikarn opened a seminar on the Thai election observation by foreigners and international organisations attended by representatives of 11 countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Switzerland and Japan.
Mr Suthipol said the invitation of foreign representatives to observe July 3 election is aimed at creating better understanding about the Thai election and the voting management of the agency, the Election Commission, which he asserts meets international standard practices.Full Article: Poll agency invites foreign observers to observe Thai election.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon called Thursday for the upcoming crucial election in Thailand to be conducted peacefully and in a “fair, credible and transparent” way. UN Secretary General Ban urged all parties to refrain from violence before, during and after the July 3 poll and “to accept and respect the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box,” his spokesman said in a statement.
Amid fears the vote could bring unrest, more than 430 candidates have sought protection, according to police, and more than 170,000 police officers are due to be deployed to protect polling stations on voting day.Full Article: UN chief calls for credible, peaceful Thai polls - Channel NewsAsia.