Two members of Burundi’s electoral commission resign

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Two out of five members of the Burundian National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) Monday afternoon resigned, CENI Spokesman Prosper Ntahorwamiye told Xinhua on Monday evening.

Burundis President Pierre Nkurunziza
Burundis President Pierre Nkurunziza

“Two letters of resignation sent by two commissioners later this afternoon (Monday) reached our office. In their letters, the two ladies, that is, CENI Vice-Chairlady Spes-Caritas Ndironkeye and Illuminata Ndabahagamye in charge of administration and finance at the CENI said they resigned for security reasons,” said CENI Spokesman Prosper Ntahorwamiye.
Ntahorwamiye also quoted the letters as saying that the two members of the commission resigned because the “situation was not favorable” to organize free and fair elections.
Ndironkeye and Ndabahagamye in charge of administration and finance at the CENI had reportedly fled Burundi on Friday.
On Saturday, Ntahorwamiye said he had heard the news like other citizens, but added that there was no evidence showing that the two commissioners had resigned or had left Burundi.
Last week, the Roman Catholic Church in Burundi pulled out its priests from the electoral commission branches at the provincial and communal levels, saying that the prevailing security situation was not conducive for the organization of elections.
A regional summit on Burundi’s unrest held Sunday in Dar-es- Salaam, Tanzania recommended the postponement of elections for one and half months for an appropriate preparation of elections.
Burundi has been in turmoil since April 25 when Nkurunziza’s party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), announced that he will run for a third term in the June elections, despite warnings at home and abroad.
Clashes between protesters and police, mainly in the capital Bujumbura, have left more than 30 dead, according to Burundi’s civil society groups.
Nkurunziza has been in power since 2005.
Opponents say his decision violates the constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement that limits the president to two terms in office.
His supporters argue that his first term does not count as he was appointed by parliament, not elected by people.
Burundi is to hold the legislative and communal elections on June 5 and the presidential election on June 26. Enditem

-Xinhua

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