A Burundian opposition coalition comprised of nine parties has nominated Jean de Dieu Mutabazi as its candidate for the June 26, 2015 presidential elections, the coalition said in a statement issued on Monday.
“The parties under the Participatory Opposition Coalition (COPA) has chosen me as the candidate in the forthcoming elections. We do not fear any one, including President Pierre Nkurunziza if his party nominates him to contest,” Mutabazi said.
He said COPA will seek to achieve two things if elected; amending the national Constitution and eradicating poverty in Burundi.
Mutabazi who has been the leader of COPA since its creation in September 2014, reiterated the need to adapt the Constitution to existing realities.
His announcement follows similar declarations by other individuals and parties expressing interest in the 2015 presidential contest.
Last week, the National Rally for Change (opposition) nominated former Senate speaker Domitien Ndayizeye as its candidate.
Other candidates include Jean Minani, the president of the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU-Nyakuri) and two independent candidates, Jeremie Minani and Isidore Rufyikiri.
To date, Nkurunziza has not yet declared his candidature, but opposition parties and some members of his party have expressed opposition to his third term bid.
The Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi which was signed in 2000 to end the Burundian civil war stipulates that the president of the republic cannot serve for more than two terms of five years each.
However, Nkurunziza’s supporters argue that he was elected in 2005 through indirect suffrage and re-elected in 2010 through direct suffrage. In their opinion therefore, the president is eligible for a second term election through direct suffrage. Enditem