Will Burundi’s Nkurunziza stay true to his promise of stepping down in 2020?

Nduta Waweru June 08, 2018
Photo: By Copyright World Economic Forum/Wiki CC

Burundi’s president Pierre Nkurunziza surprised the world when he announced that he would not be vying for the presidency in 2020.

It was a shock considering that the country passed a new constitution that would see him be president until 2034.

In  a speech on Burundi’s state television, the president said:

This constitution was not modified for Pierre Nkurunziza as the country’s enemies have been saying. It was amended for the good and better future of Burundi and the Burundian people.

The pronouncement was met with a cynical welcome by the opposition leaders.

“I think he just want(s) to calm internal public opinion and the international community,” Léonce Ngendakumana, the deputy chairman of the opposition FRODEBU group told Reuters.

Burundi fell into chaos when Nkuruniza announced he would run for a third term in 2015.  The violence not only resulted in the death of more than 400 people but also the displacement of at least 400,000 people, most of whom sought refuge in neighbouring Tanzania.

Nkurunziza added that he would support whoever runs for the presidency in 2020.

“As far as I am concerned, I am preparing to support, with all my strength, the new president who we are going to elect in 2020.”

This is how social media reacted to the news:

Last Edited by:Nduta Waweru Updated: June 8, 2018


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