Burundi's opposition asks court to reject referendum results

2018-05-24 21:14

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Burundi's main opposition coalition asked the constitutional court on Thursday to invalidate the results of last week's referendum on constitutional changes to allow the president to stay in power until 2034.

The leader of Amizero y'Abarundi's parliamentary group alleged that the vote was marred by intimidation and abuses. Pierre Celestin Ndikumana told reporters they were optimistic "considering the extent of the complaints."

The government of the East African nation did not immediately respond to the legal challenge.

The election commission on Monday said more than 73% of 4.7 million voters supported the constitutional amendments, which include extending the president's term from five years to seven. That could give President Pierre Nkurunziza another 14 years in power when his current term expires in 2020.

The constitutional court still has five days to validate the results of the May 17 referendum, which the opposition denounced as an effort by the 54-year-old Nkurunziza to cling to power.

The court three years ago validated Nkurunziza's third term, which the opposition and many international observers saw as unconstitutional. Months of deadly political turmoil followed, with more than 1 200 people killed and hundreds of thousands fleeing the country.

International Criminal Court judges last year authorised an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored crimes - a decision unaffected by Burundi's unprecedented withdrawal from the ICC.

Observers ahead of last week's referendum expressed alarm at reported violence and intimidation of its perceived opponents, including threats of drowning and castration. A presidential decree criminalized calls to abstain from voting, with a penalty of up to three years in jail.

The government rejects allegations of abuses, calling them propaganda by exiles.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  burundi  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.