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India Burundi: Catholic observers point to “irregularities” during the poll

05:10  29 may  2020
05:10  29 may  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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The Catholic Church in Burundi says it observed "many irregularities " during last week's election that call into question results that delivered victories to the ruling party and its presidential candidate. The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi said its observers stationed at polling .

Burundi ’s Catholic Bishops have deplored the “many irregularities ” witnessed during the recent 20 May general elections in which, General Though they were not able to cover all polling stations, the Bishops say they were strategic in the deployment assigning observers to key polling points .

Opérations de vote à Gitega, Burundi, le 20 mai 2020. © REUTERS / Evrard Ngendakumana Voting operations in Gitega, Burundi, May 20, 2020.

The results of the triple poll on Wednesday, which gave a large victory to General Evariste Ndayishimiye and his party the CNDD-FDD, are challenged by the main Burundian opponent, Agathon Rwasa and his party, the CNL, who denounce "massive fraud". The Council of the Catholic Church in Burundi is acting as an arbitrator between the two parties, while the CNL is preparing to file a complaint. The communiqué of the Conference of Catholic Bishops made public on Tuesday is timely for the isolated CNL, with no other independent source to confirm its accusations.

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Nairobi (AFP) - The Catholic Church in Burundi says it observed "many irregularities " during last week's election that call into question results that. The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi said its observers stationed at polling centres across the country witnessed ballot box tampering

The Catholic Church in Burundi says it observed "many irregularities " during last week's election that call into question results that delivered victories to the ruling party and its presidential candidate. The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi said its observers stationed at polling centres

Closed borders, no authorized international electoral observation mission, no independent civil society and draconian electoral observation conditions imposed on the powerful Catholic Church in Burundi, the government probably thought it had completely locked the triple ballot of May 20 .

Because initially, the Catholic Church of Burundi wanted to deploy as many observers as polling stations (14,655) to be able to count parallel votes, as her sister in the DRC had done in recent elections in this country. But the Burundian government had vetoed it, according to a prelate. He had given them less than a third and demanded that each of them only have one polling station rather than a whole polling center.

The Council of Catholic Bishops explains that it ultimately deployed 2,716 observers, or almost 20% of the polling stations, and judges that the coverage of almost one fifth of all the polling stations in the country gives it a good overview on what happened that day . His verdict undermines the official speech.

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Burundi 's Catholic Church said Wednesday its observers stationed at polling centres across the country also witnessed ballot box tampering, officials harassing and intimidating voters, and proxies registered "in place of dead people and refugees". "We deplore the many irregularities regarding the

Burundi 's Catholic Church said Wednesday its observers stationed at polling centres across the country also witnessed ballot box tampering, officials harassing and intimidating voters, and proxies registered "in place of dead people and refugees". "We deplore the many irregularities regarding the

Bishop Joachin Nderiyimana chairs this Council. "Based on the findings they made, we recognize that the elections were generally conducted in a calm environment, but we deplore many irregularities with regard to the freedom and transparency of the electoral process. As well as fairness in the treatment of candidates and voters. All these elements must also characterize truly democratic elections.

Then the bishop of Ruyigi in the east of the country began to read a long list of irregularities, which confirm all those denounced by the CNL party in the past week, and which goes even beyond. The conclusion of the Catholic Church? Very strong even if it is all in finesse as usual. “Faced with all these irregularities and many others, we wonder if they do not prejudice the results to be proclaimed.

The Catholic Church has finally called on the authorities "to punish all those who today persecute their neighbors" for their different political convictions, while the main opposition party denounces "a veritable manhunt against its militants "

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