Imagine if a world without elections. A globe with no order, authority or a president to lead a country. How would the world be right now? If people around the globe still complain of the leadership systems, imagine how much worse it would be if there were no leaders at all. The continent of Africa has been carrying out elections in different countries and times depending on the Constitution. Some countries hold peaceful elections whereas most African countries always end up in chaos after elections.
For example, Kenya experienced violence in the 2007 elections and many died. The question is why do African countries always have more election disputes than western countries such as the USA. If the importance of elections is to choose a better leader to rule, why are there so many irregularities?
Burundi, one of the African countries, just concluded a peaceful election amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, many leaders are opposed to the results claiming there were irregularities. The country has 63 cases of coronavirus disease, more than 30 recoveries, and only a single fatality.
Burundi General Election
Burundi uses the 2-round system to elect a head of state. Failure to get the most vote in the first round, election officials organize for a second round. Voters will elect 100 people of the Parliament from constituencies using a system called the closed list proportional representation. Officials use the d’Hondt approach to distribute the seats. The authorities co-opt 3 people from the Twa community and others to make sure a 60-40 share between Hutu and Tutsi groups.
Pierre Nkurunziza, the outgoing president, said he will not participate in the coming general elections. Nkurunziza has been in power since 2005 and was also chairman of the CNDD-FDD, the ruling party. Later after Pierre’s announcement, the CNARED said they might return to the country to participate in the general elections of Burundi. Early this year the ruling party chose Evariste Ndayishimiye as its presidential candidate while CNL, the opposition party, chose Rwasa.
On 20th May 2020, Burundi conducted its election whereby Evariste won by over 70% of the votes. The National Assembly of the ruling party won more than 70 seats out of the 100. On the other side, Agathon Rwasa of the opposition party won with just about 25% of the total votes. Other contestants of the presidential seat were Francis Roero, Domitien Ndayizeye Dieudonné Nahimana, and Léonce Ngendakumana.
After the victory, the CNDD-FDD decided to conduct a thanksgiving ceremony to thank God for the success. The supporters and other political leaders were in attendance. Afterward, the members of the CNL party filed a petition challenging the outcome of the results. Reports say that if the court denies the petition then the president-elect will hold his inauguration ceremony in August.
Bishop Joachim Ntahondereye View On General Election
The President of Burundi Conference of Catholic Bishop was also against the results of the election. Joachim says that there were irregularities, corruption, and dishonesty in the general elections. The Bishop further says that the dishonesty disrupts clearness of the procedure and equality of other candidates.
The Catholic Church Opinion On The General Election
Besides, the Catholic Church of Burundi also contests the results of the elections. They condemn the forced exercise on particular representations to sign earlier the counting of votes. The church also says some people voted in the position of the dead people and IDPs. Moreover, people were voting twice and officials prohibiting observers in the counting stations.
There were cases of some officials threatening voters and even walking them to the voting center. The question that leaves the world asking is whether the election was fair and just.
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