Catholic Church claims over Burundi elections irregularities

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The Catholic Church in Burundi says it observed a lot of irregularities during last week’s general elections that announced presidential candidate from the ruling party the winner.

According to an audio statement, late Tuesday this week from the head of Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi, Bishop Joachim Ntahondereye said that people from the ruling party side tampered with the ballot boxes, intimidating the voters as the ballot count was conducted in secret.

“We deplore the many irregularities regarding the freedom and transparency of the electoral process, as well as fairness in the treatment of certain candidates and voters,” the Bishop stated.

Electoral Commission of Burundi on Monday declared the reigning CNDD-FDD party and its Presidential nominee Evariste Ndayishimiye, the winner of the May 20 poll. He won with 68.72% of the votes as his closest rival Agathon Rwasa came second with 24.19% of the casted votes.

Nevertheless, no foreign observers were allowed into Burundi to keep an eye on the election. A church official who requested for anonymity said the church’s push to place monitors in every polling station was rejected but it managed to have close to 3,000 observers across all Burundi’s 119 municipalities.

The final results of the election will be released on June 4, 2020. Burundi is controlled by the ruling party and its youth wing has been implicated in a forceful crackdown against the government’s critics.

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