the poll was held in a tense climate

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No figures yet but the Burundians seem to have moved en masse for the triple ballot of this Wednesday, May 20: municipal, legislative elections and the first round of the presidential election. Back on this voting day.

It all started well this Wednesday morning at dawn, where you could see long lines of voters waiting quietly for polling hours to open at 6:00 am local time, 4:00 am GMT. The only concession to the Covid-19 pandemic raging in this country which claims to be protected by “divine grace”, hand washing in places.

But very quickly during the day, the main opposition party came up to denounce ” massive fraud »Across the country: arrest of dozens of its political representatives responsible for ensuring the smooth running of voting operations, expulsion of these offices from dozens of others, others still beaten, ballot stuffing, multiple votes or even misuse of proxies. Independent journalists and on-site witnesses confirmed the allegations.

Read also: Elections in Burundi: civil society concerned about the risk of violence

But it was impossible for the CNL of Agathon Rwasa to make its voice heard before the authorities or the CENI, while these elections were held at ” behind closed doors , according to diplomats.

No international observation missions, no independent national observers, except a few diplomats from friendly countries. Ban on taking photos at polling stations, and since dawn, on cut social media.

Reporters Without Borders denounces this Wednesday evening ” a digital camera that deprives journalists and citizens of a media essential to the credibility of the election ” Undaunted, the Burundi police and the CENI congratulated themselves throughout the day of polls which took place in very good conditions, regretting “ minor incidents “Active, they say, from Agathon Rwasa’s only party.

Seven candidates were in the running for the first round of this presidential election. President Pierre Nkurunziza, who has ruled the country since 2005, does not stand for re-election: the CNDD / FDD power candidate is Évariste Ndayishimye, with his main competitor the opponent Agathon Rwasa.

► Elections 2020: Burundi on the eve of a change?

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