Burundi’s Constitutional Court has okayed President Pierre Nkurunziza’s contested bid for a third term in office.
Nkurunziza was nominated by his party last week to stand for the third time contrary to Arusha declarations.
His nomination was met with protests in the capital Bujumbura which are still raging up to today.
Many have been killed, injured, arrested, tortured and driven out of the country by Nkurunziza’s private militia, Imbonekure youth.
Yesterday, Constitutional Court Deputy President, Sylvere Nimpagaritse, fled to Rwanda citing death threats if he dared oppose Nkurunziza’s bid.
“As a Burundian and custodian of the law, my conscience could not allow me to be part of something all Burundians were standing up against, something that violates the constitution and the pillars upon which peace was achieved in Burundi,” Nimpagaritse told AP.
He said he fled to Rwanda fearing today’s ruling which has validated Nkurunziza’s third term saying it was unconstitutional.
Burundi’s constitution allows the president to be elected by universal direct suffrage for a mandate of five years, renewable only once.
Nkurunziza was first installed as president in 2005 by parliament to lead a transitional government.
He won the 2010 presidential election as the sole candidate but still wants to stay in power.
US has made it clear that its against his third term and so did the Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete.
Rwanda has issued a warning telling Nkurunziza to save the situation before it gets out of hand.
Former Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, has asked EAC to turn attention to Burundi and avoid massacres.
Yesterday, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, asked Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, to help, intervene and end the Burundi crisis.
Meanwhile, former President Domitien Ndayizeye, has asked Nkurunziza to step back.
Ndayizeye, you were Burundi’s interim president for three years after many years of civil war, which way ended by the Arusha peace deal.
“According to the peace deal reached in Arusha, which is the reference point for the new constitution, the president cannot run again. The reason is simple: when we drafted the Arusha peace agreement, we decided to limit the presidency to two terms. These are binding terms. We also agreed that the president should be voted in directly by the people every five years – with one chance to be voted into office for a second time,” he said.