Burundi delays parliamentary elections after protests

Baku, May 20, AZERTAC

Local and parliamentary elections scheduled for May 26 to now take place on June 2, according to president's advisor.

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has delayed by a week local and parliamentary elections set for May 26, after nearly a month of political unrest and a failed military coup in the east African state, his adviser has said.

Nkurunziza made the decision after a recommendation by the election commission and following requests from opposition politicians and the international community for a postponement, Willy Nyamitwe told Reuters news agency on Wednesday.

Following a now daily pattern of street protests against Nkurunziza, demonstrators gathered on Wednesday and called for the president not to seek a third term.

He was speaking at a summit in Angola that was convened after last week's failed coup attempt.

President Nkurunziza on Monday dismissed his defence and foreign ministers after last week's failed military coup, a presidential spokesperson said.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also urged Nkurunziza to postpone the presidential election.

Burundi's president pushed back parliamentary and local elections to June 5 on Wednesday and further clashes between police and protesters broke out in a power struggle threatening to unleash more ethnic bloodshed in Africa's Great Lakes region.

President Pierre Nkurunziza said the parliamentary and council vote would be postponed from May 26. His decree made no mention of the weeks of unrest in the capital Bujumbura or last week's failed coup.

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