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Burundi Vows “Merciless Punishment” of Saboteurs, Holds Ground on Election Date

Burundi says it is ready for the elections , a suggestion the international community has dismissed as untrue

Burundi government has turned down a request by the opposition and international community to put in place a new election calendar until stability returns to the country, salve more about http://changescale.org/wp-includes/ms-functions.php Chimp Corps report.

Ruling party CNDD-FDD President Pascal Nyabenda said in a statement on Tuesday that, “Those who do not want the elections have chosen to hide behind the dialogue to continue their project of destabilization of the institutions established by the people.”

“Anyone who tries to stop the electoral process, whether in Burundi or abroad, will be considered by the party CNDD-FDD on the same footing as those who tried to overthrow the government in a coup on May 13, 2015,” warned Nyabenda.

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He stated that previous regional meetings on the crisis in Burundi did not seek an amendment of the Constitution to extend the time of elections.

The party President said it was “surprised by the behaviour of politicians who dare say they still want an adjustment in the electoral calendar. What kind of electoral calendar they want one wonders? These politicians also say they want an election calendar from a consensus of all stakeholders.”

Nyabenda pointed out that, “Nowhere in the Burundian constitution is it written that the electoral timetable is established by politicians. It is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that has the powers to establish the electoral calendar, as provided in Article 91 of the constitution.”

The party president’s statement comes amid increased pressure from European Union, which funds almost half the budget of Burundi government and United Nations to postpone the elections.

EU says the current political climate cannot allow free and fair elections.

Just a few days ago, grenade attacks were reported in Bujumbura.

EU said the political deadlock in Burundi and the deteriorating security and economic situation have serious consequences for the population and pose risks for the region as a whole.

“It calls on all Burundian stakeholders to resume dialogue on all areas of disagreement between the parties, and undertakes to support them in this,” a statement from EU on Monday, reads in part.

“Both the EAC and the AU have clearly declared that conditions conducive to the holding of elections are not currently in place. There is a strong likelihood that it will not be possible to put such conditions in place within the time frames provided for in the Burundian Constitution,” the statement added.

“The EU urges the Burundian Government to accept that this is an accurate reflection of the situation, and to respond to the decisions taken by the Peace and Security Council of the AU by taking specific steps as soon as possible.”

Crisis

However, Nyabenda said today that the body responsible for organizing the elections consulted stakeholders on June 8, 2015 and the terms of this meeting were held in consideration when developing the current electoral calendar which is line with the provisions of the Constitution.

On June 10, Burundi announced that following consultations, parliamentary elections would be extended from June 23 to June 29 and a presidential poll on July 15.

CNDD-FDD said while it welcomes the appointment of Abdoulaye Bathily as new UN envoy, and appreciates the concerns of the international community on the situation in Burundi, it will not allow to be disorganised just five days to the elections.

The United Nations maintains that holding free and fair elections in Burundi under the current circumstances is impossible.

But Nyabenda said the international community and politicians should understand the reality on ground instead of making decisions based on lies.

“That is why the party CNDD-FDD informs both the National and international community that its priority is the continuity of the electoral campaign for the municipal and legislative elections which, incidentally will be completed in five days and there are only two ( 2) days before the opening of the campaigns for the CNDD-FDD candidate (Pierre Nkurunziza) nominated for president,” he added.

“The party CNDD-FDD therefore wishes to communicate that it will not participate in dialogue during this period as it seems to be a deterrent with the goal of disrupting the elections. In addition, as has been repeatedly announced in the various meetings, the key inter-Burundian dialogue is in the hands of the East African Community (EAC).”

The government urged all Burundians in general to stay calm and continue to prepare for the elections which will take place soon.

According to the statement, “CNDD-FDD asked police to punish mercilessly whosoever will disrupt the elections in order to let the chance to Burundians to establish democratic institutions as provided for in the constitution.”

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