Balloting starts in Burundi general elections

Balloting starts in Burundi
Balloting starts in Burundi
Staff member of the Burundian National Independent Electoral Commission prepare election materials in Gitega Province, central Burundi, on May 20, 2020. Balloting starts in Burundi

 

Balloting starts in Burundi: 

Voters in Burundi today Wednesday May 20 go out to choose the country’s new president, members of parliament and local officials in a key general election, tempered by the challenge of the coronavirus outbreak. The election marks the country’s first step in moving away from President Pierre Nkurunzizas 15-year reign, which has been marred by allegations of human rights abuses, and his controversial decision to seek a third term five years ago. His third term propelled the country into an economic crisis.

 

SEE ALSO: Burundi sacks WHO officials Ahead of May 20 polls

 

This time though the landlocked country will have Nkurunziza leave, but then he will gain an official title that makes him “supreme guide to patriotism”, once he steps down. Now, what are the stakes in this election?

More than five million people are eligible to cast ballots. And seven candidates are vying to succeed President Pierre Nkurunziza who is stepping down after 15 years in power. There are real issues concerning this election. First, the polls are taking place despite the coronavirus pandemic. And most of the polls would be held behind closed doors.

How well can free transparent and credible elections take place under these conditions? Burundian journalist Desire Nimybona helps us understand a few things on the programme

 

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