Burundi vote counting finishes

Burundian refugees gather on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Kagunga village in Kigoma region - Photo Credit - uk.reuters

Burundi election officials finished vote-counting yesterday, a day after internationally condemned polls boycotted by the opposition, with the ruling party expected to win a sweeping victory.

“The counting is completed in all the polling stations throughout Burundi,” election commission spokesperson Prosper Ntahorwamiye told AFP, with those votes now being collated and taken to larger centres for final tallies before results can be announced.
Voting on Monday was marked by grenade attacks, with the election commission claiming an “enormous” turnout despite many polling stations remaining quiet.

The poll followed weeks of violence and a failed coup attempt sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s defiant bid for a third term, with more than 70 people killed.


Almost four million people were registered to vote, but the opposition boycotted the polls, as they did in the last elections in 2010, claiming it was not possible to hold a fair vote. Almost 144 000 refugees have fled into neighbouring nations.

The only international observers were those of the UN, who said that their presence should not be “interpreted as a validation” of the process.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon earlier called for the voting to be delayed, as Burundi faces its worst crisis since the end of its civil war nine years ago. — AFP.