Burundi election postponed amid unrest

BUJUMBURA - As protests and sporadic violence continue to roil his country, Burundi's President has pushed back the parliamentary and local council elections by one week, to June 6, a presidential spokesman said Wednesday.

President Pierre Nkurunziza is set to make a formal announcement about the delay later Wednesday at the African nation's State House. Presidential spokesman Willy Nyamitwe told CNN that Nkurunziza made the decision after getting sadvice from Burundi's Electoral Commission and East African leaders.

The move comes amid continued turmoil in Burundi, much of it centered around Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term. Such a re-election bid is prohibited by the agreement that ended the nation's 1993-2003 civil war, yet the President is pushing forward nonetheless.

Protesters determined to prevent his candidacy have demonstrated in the capital, Bujumbura, and police have met them with deadly force. Such clashes haven't let up, with police firing tear gas and shooting into the air again on Wednesday.

The military has sometimes acted as a buffer between police and protesters. That happened again Wednesday in Bujumbura, with troops urging police not to fire live rounds on protesters.

One of those police then fired, at which point police and the military engaged in a standoff. It ended with the military pushing police away from the scene.

Comments (3)

"Sadvice" - I take it to mean Sad Advice

Open Eye - 21 May 2015

seeking an extended stay is not welcome in Burundi yet ma chinja allowed morgan to go over the initial mandate. leaders should learn to respect set boundaries.

zvirozviyedzwa - 22 May 2015

If u not a Chinja what irks u? Morgan is not a state president yet, saka siyana nezveku party kwedu! We the Machinja, have mandated him to stay on, it's none of your business! Ziva zvenyu zve renewal nezveku zanu zveku rigger election, and leave our president and party alone!

Mai Bambino - 22 May 2015

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