Burundi President Set To Scrap Presidential Term Limits

Burundi President, Pierre Nkurunziza
Burundi President, Pierre Nkurunziza

The government of Burundi has said it was planning to remove presidential term limits from the country’s constitution.

A commission, set up by President Pierre Nkurunziza last year to hear public views on the political system, said it found that most Burundians were against limiting the presidential tenure to two terms.

The latest move has been described by the opposition as against the will of the people.

One of the opposition figures, Pancrace Cimpaye, said “The findings are manipulated, because the citizens don’t dare to say anything that displeases the president, out of fear.”

“The commission was not independent and its findings were misrepresentation, because people from only 49 out of Burundi’s 119 districts were interviewed, Cimpaye said.

The commission’s report will be presented to the president, after which a possible amendment of the constitution will be debated in parliament.




     

     

    CNARED, a coalition that claims to uphold the Arusha peace accord that brought Burundi’s civil war to an end in 2006, opposed the move.

    The coalition accuses President Pierre Nkurunziza of violating the Arusha agreement.

    Burundi has been thrown into crisis since Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term in office despite a constitutional limit of two terms.

    His election victory in July 2015 unleashed a wave of political violence in which hundreds have been killed.

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