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Respect the Constitution and step down, Raila tells Nkurunziza

CORD leader Raila Odinga has asked Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza not to contest during the country’s forthcoming general elections.

Nkurunziza is currently leading a politically unstable country, a situation primarily caused by his announcement declaring his intention to seek a third term in office last month.

In this aspect, Odinga has weighed in by urging the President to “respect the constitution”.

“Nkurunziza should respect the constitution and withdraw from the presidential race,” the former Prime Minister tweeted.

UNREST AND VIOLENCE

The Burundi President had been cleared to run by the country’s courts, which ruled the leader’s first term in office was as a result of a Parliament ruling and not election, and therefore didn’t count.

In the meantime, a spate of unrest and violence has continued to sweep through the tiny central Africa nation, culminating in an aborted coup last week, where tens of civilians lost their lives and about a hundred thousand people displaced.

The European Union and African Union, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, have requested Nkurunziza to delay the election exercise set for June 26, on the basis of the political unrest in the country. The 51-year-old leader is however yet to formally respond to the request.

In the meantime, Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader who has been the country’s President for the past ten years, has sacked three cabinet ministers, including the Defence Minister in a decision his office say is linked to the coup attempt.