The opposition complains that people are coerced into enrolment.More than 5m people have signed up to vote in Burundi's controversial constitutional referendum in May and elections in 2020, which could allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to remain in power until 2034.By the end of the registration process on February 17th, “a total of 5,000,742 people” had signed up, including Burundians living abroad, Pierre‐Claver Ndayicariye, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) was quoted as saying on local media on February 20th.The figure was higher than CENI's earlier estimate of 4.5m.This includes those who will be of voting age in time for the referendum as well as people who will become adult by the 2020 general elections, Ndayicariye said.The CENI has not stated how many of the registered people will need to wait until 2020 to be of voting age.Former rebel leader Nkurunziza, 54, has ruled the densely populated country since 2005 after a devastating civil war and critics accuse him of becoming a dictator who refuses to quit.The government said the turnout showed “the eagerness and patriotic sense” of citizens who were also “initiators” of the constitutional referendum.Throughout the voter registration, the political opposition claimed that people were being
Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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