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Burundi thanksgiving held for election result despite allegations of fraud

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BURUNDI’s three days of thanksgiving to God for its recent presidential election concluded today, despite the poll being marred by alleged fraud and irregularities.

The celebrations were called by the ruling National Council for the Defence of Democracy–Forces for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) to mark the victory of its candidate, Evariste Ndayishimiye, who won over 68 per cent of the vote last Monday.

He is set to replace Pierre Nkurunziza, who is stepping down after 15 years in power.

Mr Nkurunziza will now become the country’s supreme leader and will receive a lifetime salary and luxury villa among other benefits, despite having presided over a brutal regime that violently crushed political opponents.

Opposition leader Agathon Rwasa filed a complaint about the result at the country’s constitutional court on Thursday.

“Appalling errors were made across the country, no district or province was spared. We have provided evidence that there has been a massive fraud,” he said.

“The announced results are false.”

The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi has also criticised the way the elections were conducted, saying some parties’ observers had been chased from polling stations.

The poll took place amid violent attacks on opposition supporters and while the country is still in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The court is expected to rule on Mr Rwasa’s complaint this week.

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