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Pinda to lead Burundi election observation team

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DAILYNEWS 16 APR 2020

FORMER Tanzanian Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, is expected to lead the East African Community (EAC), elections observation mission to Burundi as the nation heads to the polls later next month.

Mr Pinda will lead an observer mission that will be deployed in the East African country to supervise its upcoming 2020 elections.

This comes as the incumbent Burundi President; Mr Pierre Nkurunziza expressed his intention not to run for the country’s top most office this year.

EAC Secretary General, Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko had in February this year assured the region and the international community that Burundi elections will be fair, inclusive and peaceful.

In the same vein, the EAC Secretariat pledged to support credible, free, fair and peaceful elections in the country.

The EAC boss stressed that his office had already dispatched a group of experts to make consultations with Burundi officials and Burundi’s electoral commission in order to make sure that the upcoming elections are peaceful and inclusive.

“The EAC Observation Mission team will supervise Burundi elections before, during and after the elections”, the EAC Secretary-General said recently.

Article 124 of the EAC Treaty affirms the need for peace and security within the Partner States.

The article further spells out wide-ranging approaches for implementation in order to have a stable and secure environment within the region.

The Treaty further mandates the community to observe electoral processes within the context of the National Constitutions of the Partner States.

This year’s elections will be conducted for the first time since the country promulgated its new Constitution in 2018.

The country has been embroiled in political chaos ever since the incumbent embattled President Nkurunziza announced his intention of running for a third term back in April 2015.

It has also witnessed political instability marked by violent clashes between government and opposition forces as well as the suppression of civil society, media and opposition groups–following the disputed decision by President Nkurunziza.

The political atmosphere in the neighboring country led to the commissioning of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue (IBD) an EAC initiative, which seeks to resolve political tensions whipped up by the controversial general elections of 2015, under the facilitation of former Tanzania President, Benjamin William Mkapa.

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