Burundian President Promises To Step Down In 2020

By Ikenga Chronicles June 7, 2018

Burundian President Promises To Step Down In 2020

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza said Thursday he would not run for another term, despite widespread belief that he backed a new constitution extending term limits in a bid to cling to power.

“I will not go back on my word. Our mandate ends in 2020,” Nkurunziza said in a speech to supporters and diplomats in the central region of Gitega.

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His announcement came shortly after he signed into law a new constitution that could enable him to rule until 2034.

Describing himself as “Guide” of the ruling CNDD-FDD party, Nkurunziza said he would not seek re-election at the end of his current, controversial third term.

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Nkurunziza’s decision to run for election in 2015 plunged Burundi into a deep and deadly political crisis, with opponents saying his candidacy went against a peace deal that had ended more than a decade of civil war.

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Last month a constitutional referendum was held to extend presidential terms to seven years.

It was widely seen as a move paving the way for Nkurunziza to run for a further two terms under the new dispensation.

“The new constitution has not been tailored for Pierre Nkurunziza, as our enemies claim,” he said.

“As far as I am concerned, I am preparing to support, with all my strength, the new president who we are going to elect in 2020.”

SOURCE: AFP

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