Burundi set to scrap presidential term limits

Pierre Nkurunziza, Burundi President

Burundi on Thursday made clear it was preparing to remove presidential term limits from its constitution, in a move the opposition said was against the will of the people.

A commission, set up by President Pierre Nkurunziza last year to hear public views on the political system, said it found most Burundians were against limiting the presidential tenure to two terms.

“The findings are manipulated, because the citizens don’t dare to say anything that displeases the president, out of fear,” CNARED spokesperson Pancrace Cimpaye, said hours after the commission published its findings.

“The commission was not independent and its findings were misrepresentation, because people from only 49 out of Burundi’s 119 districts were interviewed, Cimpaye said.

CNARED is a coalition that claims to uphold the Arusha peace accord that brought to an end Burundi’s civil war in 2006.

It accuses President Pierre Nkurunziza of violating the Arusha agreement.

The commission’s report will be presented to the president, after which a possible amendment of the constitution will be debated in parliament.

Burundi has been in turmoil since Nkurunziza announced in 2015 that he would seek a third term in office despite a constitutional of two-term limit.

His election victory in July 2015 unleashed a wave of political violence in which hundreds have been killed. (dpa/NAN)


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