Former general receives 68.72% of ballots, according to country’s electoral commission

KIGALI, Rwanda

The candidate of Burundi’s ruling party won a presidential ballot held last week after securing 68.72% of the vote, according to results released Monday by the country’s election commission. 

The CNDD-FDD’s Evariste Ndayishimiye came first among seven candidates, with main challenger Agathon Rwasa of the opposition National Congress for Liberty (CNL) garnering 24.19% of the vote, showed figures released by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Ndayishimiye is the preferred candidate of 15-year sitting President Pierre Nkurunziza, whom he is set to replace.

A retired general, Ndayishimiye was part of a rebel movement with Nkurunziza during the country’s civil war from 1993 to 2005 that killed roughly 300,000 people.

He promised before the election to listen to all voices in the country and serve all its people.

More than 5 million people took part in the poll in which voters also elected Members of Parliament.

Preliminary results showing a victory for Ndayishimiye were released last week, which Rwasa disputed as a “fantasy.”

In parliament, the ruling CNDD-FDD won 72 seats, while the CNL got 27.

Burundi was plunged into a political crisis in 2015 when Nkurunziza sought a controversial third term in office.

His candidature was opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, leading to wide protests, violence and a failed coup in May 2015.

Nkurunziza did not seek reelection in this vote.

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