Burundian presidential election, 2010

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Burundian presidential election, 2010
Burundi
2005 ←
28 June → Next

  Pierre Nkurunziza - World Economic Forum on Africa 2008.jpg


Nominee Pierre Nkurunziza
Party CNDD-FDD
Popular vote 2,479,483
Percentage 91.62%

President before election

Pierre Nkurunziza
CNDD-FDD

Elected President

Pierre Nkurunziza
CNDD-FDD

Presidential elections were held in Burundi on 28 June 2010. As a result of withdrawals and alleged fraud and intimidation, incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza was the only candidate.

Background[edit]

Coat of arms of Burundi.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Burundi

Unlike the 2005 election, the 2010 election was a direct election by all voters, not by parliament.[1][2] In early March 2010, the run-up to the election was called "explosive" due to a combination of demobilized former combatants and violence between youth activists in the ruling CNDD-FDD and opposition FRODEBU.[3]

Following the Burundi Civil War, between the Tutsi and Hutu (similar to Rwanda), the National Liberation Forces (FNL) were brought into the legal political sphere and were said to be the incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza's most viable opposition. But through a campaign of intimidation in the run up to the vote, as well as alleging fraud in earlier local elections, all the other candidates withdrew from the ballot leaving just Nkurunziza.[4] On 1 June 2010, five opposition candidates, including Agathon Rwasa (considered the strongest contender against the incumbent), withdrew from the election, alleging that the government intended to rig it.[5]

Following further similarities with Rwanda, ethnic tensions between Tutsi and Hutu were seen in the lead up to their own presidential election. Bombings there were blamed on the Interhamwe.

Conduct[edit]

The day before the election three grenade attacks were reported in the early hours of the morning. Two were in the capital's Buyenzi and Kamesa districts, causing no injuries, and one exploded in the western town of Kanyosha, killing one and wounding two. The person killed was supposedly an official with the FNL. Another man was shot dead in Bujumbaura's Musanga neighbourhood in a suspected politically motivated attack.[6] On election day, three more grenade attacks occurred in the capital Bujumbura, while two more exploded in the north of the country. In all, at least eight people were killed and more than 60 wounded since the opposition candidates pulled out of the race.[7]

The FNL were suspected of the grenade attacks, when local police searched the home of the party's leader, Agathon Rwasa. However, the FNL denied involvement in the attacks and has said that their leader is being targeted for political reasons. According to party chairman Alexis Sinduhije of the Movement for Solidarity and Development, police also arrested six members of his party.[7]

International expectations[edit]

The East African Community – comprising Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania – urged all parties to ensure a smooth and democratic election.[7]

Results[edit]

In the FNL bastion of Kanyosha, only a handful of voters turned out to vote, as compared to hundreds who voted in the local council elections just one month before. The chair of an international observation mission, Lydie Nzengou, affirmed during the day that the turnout was much lower.[7]

Party Candidate Votes %
Pierre Nkurunziza CNDD–FDD 2,479,483 91.62
Against 226,919 8.38
Invalid/blank votes 29,356
Total 2,735,758 100
Registered voters/turnout 3,553,372 76.98
AFP, People's Daily Online

Aftermath[edit]

Rwasa went into hiding upon speculation that the government wanted to arrest him on charges of planning a new insurgency. He was quoted as saying that "They're (the government) looking for me because I told the truth, because I said publicly that I don't accept the results of the local elections. [Last] Wednesday they wanted to arrest me again. I got wind of it and I disappeared from circulation." It was presumed that he was in the Democratic Republic of Congo.[8]

Towards the last days of September 2010, 14 bodies were founded gagged and bound. Authorities blamed "unidentified armed bandits," but also said "Twenty-two criminals were arrested and are detained in Mpimba prison [in Bujumbura] while 20 others were arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo and are being interrogated." Police sources added that most of those arrested belonged to the opposition Movement for Solidarity and Democracy and the National Liberation Forces.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maximiliano Herrera. "Electoral Calendar- world elections,US elections,presidential election,world parties". Mherrera.org. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  2. ^ (AFP) – Dec 15, 2009 (2009-12-15). "AFP: Burundi to directly elect president in next poll". Google.com. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  3. ^ Tensions High in Run-Up to Elections 4 March 2010, IRIN
  4. ^ "Burundi set for one-name vote – Africa". Al Jazeera English. 2010-06-28. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  5. ^ "Burundi opposition candidates to boycott presidential poll". Reuters. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  6. ^ "Attacks mar Burundi poll build-up – Africa". Al Jazeera English. 2010-06-28. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Violence scars Burundi election – Africa". Al Jazeera English. 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  8. ^ "Burundi opposition leader in hiding – Africa". Al Jazeera English. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  9. ^ Bodies found in Burundi river Al Jazeera, 23 September 2010