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Burundi Parliament Gets New Speaker Amidst Controversy

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Gélase Daniel Ndabirabe is the new President of Lower Chamber of Burundi’s Parliament as the newly elected government takes effective control of the state.

According to reports, Ndabirabe shot to parliament after trouncing his opponents in the race for Kayanza constituency. He is a member of the ruling party CNDD-FDD.

On Friday Ndabirabe was also unanimously elected president of the National Assembly out of the 90 voters.

Sabine Ntakarutimana, from Muyinga was elected 1st vice-president with the same score. Abel Gashatsi, from Uprona, representing Muramvya constituency was given the post of 2nd vice-president with 86 votes.

However, the largest opposition party in Burundi boycotted the National Assembly polls and walked out in protest.

Only Gaston Sindimwo, former first vice-president, Abel Gashatsi, president of Uprona and the deputies from the ethnic Batwa community were in the room.

“Negotiations are going well for the formation of the Bureau of the Assembly. The plenary activities will begin, ”said one of the employees of the parliament.

“There were empty places, a very noticeable absence of 32 deputies from the CNL party (National Council for Freedom). They decided to boycott this session,” he said.

Pascal Nyabenda, former president of the National Assembly, made a short passage for the handover.

Agathon Rwasa the leader of CNL party, the move to boycott this election was aimed at expressing their resentment at the pressure exerted by the ruling party in the adoption of the Rules of Procedure.

“They counted on the fact that there were many of them instead of deepening the debate and reaching consensus, they preferred to go to clause-by-clause voting. There was no overall vote. There is a catch there,” Rwasa said.

Rwasa considered that for their CNDD-FDD colleagues, everything had been decided in advance. They saw fit not to come in, he said, because it would be a waste of time.

However, he said this situation will not prevent them from sitting as elected representatives of the people to exercise their right. He reminds that no one should use their workforce to misguide this nation. “The Burundians deserve better than this”.

Gélase Daniel Ndabirabe lambasted the attitude of CNL deputies: “Some have adopted the policy of the empty chair. It shows that there is something wrong. With the help of the almighty we will succeed. ”

The new president of the lower house of parliament intends to straighten out the judiciary: “Elected officials will have to study and develop strategies to support the government on questions of justice. The time when a minister invited to explain the problems of the population gave the same explanations is over ”.

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