Burundi opposition leader, Agathon Rwasa, wants President Pierre Nkurunziza voted out of power by August 2015.
Rwasa told Reuters in an interview that while June 26 elections may be untenable due to protests against Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term, at least the situation should have normalized by August when the election can at last be held.
The Parliamentary and local elections were postponed on Wednesday by Election commission (CENI) but Rwasa insists that a new government should be in place by August 26, when Nkurunziza’s term ends.
Rwasa, a former rebel leader, said there was no room for a transitional government.
“We will have to comply with the constitution. We knew ahead of these elections that we should hold it so that we can have a newly elected president, and MPs and so on, by August this year,” Rwasa said.
He added: “Once Nkurunziza will give up his selfish interests and think big, then we can hope that it is easy to schedule a free and fair election in a very short time.”
He insisted on Nkurunziza giving up his pursuit for a third term.
Nkurunziza has pushed against all odds for a third term that violates the constitution and the Arusha peace deal that ended the 12-year civil war.
He has employed the services of a brutal ruling CNDD-FDD youth group, the Imbonerakure, to terrorise civilians and bend them to his will.
Rwasa demanded that this militia be disarmed within a few weeks’ time and that Burundi can nolonger rely on the police as defence forces who are under the command of Pierre Nkurunziza.
He called for an international to take on the task.
He also called for a rebuilding of independent media; private radio stations and TVs destroyed by Nkurunziza’s men during the mock stage-managed military coup.
“The media must be rehabilitated so that people can know what is happening in the country,” Rwasa said.
Over 100,000 people have fled Burundi to neighbouring countries following a period of unrest with latest being a group of over 2,300 children, according to Save the Children.
Save the Children’s East Africa operations manager, Edwin Kuria, said children as young as six years old have arrived alone at the Mahama camp in Rwanda, exhausted and frightened.
He told of a three-year-old toddler got to the camp in the care of its 12-year-old sibling, they had made the long and difficult journey on their own.
Many are arriving without shoes and with nothing but the clothes they are wearing.