Burundi speaker says Nkurunziza will step down in 2020

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The Speaker of the Burundi Parliament, Rt Hon Pascal Nyabenda on arrival at the conference centre for the pre-tournament conference in Bujumbura

The Speaker of the Burundi Parliament, Rt Hon Pascal Nyabenda has said his boss and President Pierre Nkurunziza will not be seeking a re-election in 2020.

Nyabenda was on Friday meeting staff of the 9th East African Community [EAC] Secretariat at the ARFIC conference hall to launch the EAC inter-parliamentary games in the capital Bujumbura.

Nyabenda said it is in this context of peace that Burundians revised the Constitution.

“This constitutions favours peace and national unity. It harmonises some provisions with that of the EAC,” Nyabenda argued.

He added: “HE President Nkurunziza will not be seeking re-election at the next general elections.”

Victoria University

Nyabenda requested all East Africans to help Burundi in organising free and fair elections.

The Speaker of the Burundi Senate Rt Hon Révérien Ndikuriyo was also present at the conference centre for the pre-tournament conference before the launch of the 9th EAC games.

In the same week, Nkurunziza refused to attend the EAC summit held in the Tanzanian administrative capital Arusha and chaired by President Museveni.

Museveni said they would push the summit to December 27 to allow Nkurunziza reconsider.

In 2015, Nkurunziza was controversially nominated by his party for a third term in office.

Supporters and opponents of Nkurunziza disagreed as to whether it was legal for him to run again, and protests followed.

More than two months of anti-Nkurunziza protests, which were often violently repressed, left at least 100 dead.

On 13 May 2015, a coup attempt against Nkurunziza occurred while he was out of the country; the coup leader, Godefroid Niyombare, claimed to have ousted Nkurunziza, although Nkurunziza loyalists disputed the claim.

Facing resistance from Nkurunziza loyalists, the coup collapsed and forces loyal to Nkurunziza appeared to be back in full control by 15 May.

Independent media was shut down and many opponents fled, joining an exodus of more than 400,000 Burundians.

Amidst an opposition boycott, Nkurunziza was re-elected for a third term in the July 2015 presidential election.

On 7 June 2018, Nkurunziza announced that he would not seek another term and step down when his current term ends in 2020.

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