Burundi’s influential Catholic Church said Thursday it was withdrawing support for June elections in the crisis-hit country, as the EU announced it was also suspending its mission to observe the vote.
In the statement read out on Catholic radio by Bishop Gervais Bashimiyubusa, the Church said it “cannot endorse an election riddled with shortcomings”.
Parliamentary elections in Burundi are scheduled for June 5 while the presidential poll is to be held on June 26.
Burundi’s government claims that postponement would create a dangerous political vacuum and risk even more unrest.
Critics say the political environment is too unstable to hold elections, with almost daily street demonstrations in the nation’s capital, Bujumbura.
This The European Union has stopped its enroute make note of elections in Burundi since it can’t serve its part in an environment of social media suppresses and intimidation of a given hostile, Ecu unfamiliar coverage principal Federica Mogherini said on Thursday.
Over 30 people have lost their lives in anti-Nkurunziza’s protest rallies, which broke out in late April, and intensified earlier in May when Major General Godefroid Niyombare, a former intelligence chief, staged a failed coup attempt.
Burundi’s government on Tuesday condemned mounting diplomatic pressure over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial bid to stand for a third consecutive term, signaling it wouldn’t bow to international criticism.
Opposition and rights groups say that Nkurunziza’s bid for a third five-year term violates the constitution as well as the terms of a peace deal that ended a 13-year civil war in 2006. France’s U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters the talks haven’t resumed.
On Tuesday, the Burundian presidency posted a notice on its official Facebook page asking citizens to donate to an account named “ELECTIONS 2015” at the Bank of the Republic of Burundi. His bid for re-election also has strong support in rural areas and among sections of the Hutu majority.
Members of the military attempted a coup on May 13 while Mr Nkurunziza was abroad at the last East African Community (EAC) summit aimed at ending the row over his plan to stand again.
Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki said a week ago that, “if Nkurunziza does not give up 3rd term ambition, he’ll drag the country back into war”.