At least 50,000 members of the Burundian ruling party from across the east African nation Saturday staged a huge demonstration in the streets of the Burundian capital Bujumbura to prove the party unity.
They were wearing T-shirts showing distinctive signs and colors of Burundi’s ruling party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD).
After marching in the capital’s main streets, CNDD-FDD members gathered at Tempete Playground in the urban commune of Rohero where they listened to remarks by the ruling party chairman.
“We organized this demonstration to show that the CNDD-FDD (Burundi’s ruling party) is unique. We would like to tell you that the party is still strong. You leaders of the CNDD-FDD at various levels, remain close to the party members and be united,” CNDD-FDD Chairman Pascal Nyabenda told demonstrators.
In their songs, demonstrators were saying, “We vow that Nkurunziza will run again.”
He indicated that the theme for the demonstration was, “We, CNDD-FDD members, are all one”, calling on the Burundian ruling party members not to be “scared”.
Last month, a group of senior CNDD-FDD officials holding various positions in the government signed a petition, requesting Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza to avoid his plans to run the third term during the forthcoming presidential election.
“CNDD-FDD members who dropped the party values were sanctioned for their misconduct. Some of them were sacked for good while others were suspended from the party,” said Nyabenda.
Some CNDD-FDD members, opposition parties, some civil society organizations and the Roman Catholic Church are against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term, arguing that such a move would be a “violation” of the Burundian Constitution and the Arusha Agreement.
Burundi is to hold general elections between May and September this year, with the presidential election to be held on June 26. Enditem