Catholic church withdraws Burundi election support

The influential Catholic church in Burundi have withdrawn their support from the elections.

Catholic church withdraws Burundi election support

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Catholic Church in Burundi on Thursday announced the withdrawal of its representatives tasked with overseeing parliamentary and local polls slated for June 5.

"After having witnessed current developments and the manner in which the elections are being organized, we have decided to resign," read a statement issued by the church's senior archbishops.

The archbishops had sat atop at least five out of 17 district committees tasked with supervising the East African country's upcoming elections.

The church had earlier threatened to withdraw its representatives from the committees to protest a controversial bid by President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek a third term in office.

Along with the country's political opposition, the church had argued that the move constituted a breach of the national constitution.

"Our demands for guarantees of electoral integrity have not been addressed thus far," the archbishops asserted.

The Burundian government, meanwhile, has yet to comment on the withdrawal of the church representatives from the electoral committees.

Earlier this month, Nkurunziza postponed legislative and municipal polls – originally slated for May 26 – to June 5.

Presidential adviser Willy Nyamitwe told reporters that the decision to postpone the polls had been taken based on recommendations by the country's official electoral commission, along with requests by the Burundian opposition and the international community.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Mayıs 2015, 16:39