The outgoing President, Pierre Nkurunziza who has ruled Burundi since 2005 and whose final years were plagued with turmoil, on Tuesday congratulated his successor on a “large victory” despite qualms on the results of the election.
The opposition party leader Agathon Rwasa and his National Freedom Council that secured the second position have already rejected the results because of massive fraud and have established filing legal challenges as early as Wednesday.
Catholicism being the predominant religion of Burundi’s 11 million people, the relation between the church and the government of Nkurunziza soured his third-term bid in 2015.
Nkurunziza’s enforcement to remain in office claimed at least 1,200 lives and more than 400,000 citizens to leave the country.
Burundi’s government accused the church of “spitting venomous hatred’ after priests denounced intolerance and political violence ahead of this year’s election that took place in last week.