Burundi elections: Top court rejects opposition bid to annul poll results

Evariste Ndayishimye.
Evariste Ndayishimye.
Twitter/HESharifShAhmed

Burundi's constitutional court on Thursday rejected an opposition bid to overturn the results of last month's contested election, declaring the ruling party's presidential candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye the victor.

The panel of judges ruled that poll fraud complaints by Agathon Rwasa, leader of the National Freedom Council (CNL), were "null and void", validating Ndayishimiye's victory with 68% of the vote.

Rwasa's share of the vote diminished further in the final results to 22.42 percent. Provisional results had given him 24%.

Ndayishimiye, 52, a former army general who was handpicked by ruling party elites to succeed veteran President Pierre Nkurunziza, will be sworn in in August for a seven-year mandate.

Nkurunziza will step aside after 15 tumultuous years. His bid for a third term in 2015 plunged the country into political and economic chaos that persists today.

After a campaign marked by violence, Rwasa's CNL had dismissed the 20 May poll as an "electoral farce", citing intimidation of voters, the arrest of opposition polling agents, ballot stuffing and proxy voting.

The constitutional court - which the opposition has accused of following the ruling party's orders - said that the CNL failed to provide sufficient proof of its claims.

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