Preliminary results from Burundi elections say President Pierre Nkurunziza has won a third term in office.
In the election that EAC Election Observer team declared unfair, not credible, not peaceful and not transparent, Nkurunziza won winning 69.41%.
He was followed by the most powerful opposition candidate, Agathon Rwasa, who polled 18.99%.
Nkurunziza won in almost every district except two in Tuesday’s election which was boycotted by major opposition political parties.
With proclamations of vote rigging and violence, United States declared the election illegitimate and imposed visa bans on Burundi government officials.
The European Union also said it was preparing sanctions against Burundi.
The country’s electoral commission announced at the Royal Palace Hotel, Bujumbura that the turn up was 91.99% in Nkurunziza’s home town, Ngozi where he won 79% of votes.
The other districts provided as low as 37% of the total votes.
African Union in a tweet says “Burundi represents regression of EAC on conduct of credible and legitimate elections”.
“Dilemma is if to recognize or not outcome of flawed process,” AU wondered.
The election follows months of violence, which started on 26 April, when the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) party nominated President Nkurunziza to stand for re-election – something the opposition says violates the country’s constitution and the Arusha Accords peace deal.
Civil society has already promised not to recognise Nkurunziza while opposition leader, Alexis Sinduhije, says he will topple Nkurunziza and form a national transitional council alongside exiles of the CNDD-FDD, opposition leaders, representatives of the civil society, journalists, and members of the army.
Pierre Nkurunziza (born 18 December 1963) has been President of Burundi since 2005.
He was the Chairman of the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), the ruling party, until he was elected as President of Burundi.
In 2015, Nkurunziza was controversially nominated by his party for a third term in office.
Supporters and opponents of Nkurunziza disagreed as to whether it was legal for him to run again, and protests followed.
On 13 May 2015, a coup attempt against Nkurunziza occurred while he was out of the country; the coup leader, Godefroid Niyombare, claimed to have ousted Nkurunziza, although Nkurunziza loyalists disputed the claim.
Facing resistance from Nkurunziza loyalists, the coup collapsed and forces loyal to Nkurunziza appeared to be back in full control by 15 May.