Burundi opposition announces decision to boycott elections
Iran Press TV
Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:44AM
Burundi's opposition parties have announced their decision to boycott upcoming key elections, citing lack of necessary conditions for a fair vote.
'All the opposition [groups] have unanimously decided to boycott the elections,' said Charles Nditije, a key opposition leader, on Friday after a letter signed by representatives of all political opposition groups was handed to the election commission.
The central African country is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on Monday and a presidential vote on July 15.
The letter criticized the timetable set by the election commission, saying the opposition groups will not take part in the polls unless there are no conditions for 'peaceful, transparent and inclusive' elections.
According to the letter, the opposition conditions include disarming the pro-government militia, ensuring the security of the electoral process as well as political leaders and society, reopening independent media, and facilitating the return of refugees.
Burundi plunged into turmoil in late April when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced a decision to run for a third consecutive five-year term.
Opponents say Nkurunziza's bid violates the country's constitution.
The poverty-stricken and landlocked country has been the scene of weeks of street demonstrations, a violent police crackdown and a failed coup attempt by a section of the army.
Around 70 people have been killed in weeks of street protests that have been brutally suppressed by the police and security forces.
According to the UN, more than 100,000 people have also fled to neighboring countries since the political tension broke out in Burundi.
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