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Burundi Election Crisis

The ruling CNDD–FDD and the opposition disagreed over whether President Pierre Nkurunziza was eligible to run for a third term in office. Allies of Nkurunziza claimed that he was eligible for a third term, as his first term began after being elected by Parliament rather than a popular vote, and so was not included in the term limit. During a two-day visit to Burundi in March 2015, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete warned of a risk of violence if the constitution and the 2005 Arusha Peace Agreement is not adhered to.
 On 5 May 2015 the Constitutional Court ruled that Nkurunziza was eligible to stand for a third term, although its ruling followed the court's Vice President Sylvere Nimpagaritse fleeing the country, saying that most of the court judges believed that Nkurunziza standing for a third term was unconstitutional, but that they had come under pressure to change their minds. On 13 May a coup attempt was launched by elements in the military opposed to Nkurunziza's third term bid, but loyalist soldiers reasserted control by the next day.
The African Union and the United States both called for Nkurunziza not to stand for a third term.On 19 May, following a meeting of regional leaders, South African President Jacob Zuma called for the election to be indefinitely delayed. On 27 May, the government urged citizens to donate money to help finance the election, reacting to the possibility of foreign aid being cut by saying that the vote would be held regardless. On 31 May, regional leaders of the East African Community called for the election to be delayed by six weeks. While the Burundian government responded positively, protesters were angry that the EAC said nothing about Nkurunziza's candidacy.
On 11 July 2015, in response to requests from regional leaders, the government announced another delay, pushing the vote back by six days to 21 July. Although the regional leaders had requested a delay to 30 July to allow time for a potential mediation effort coordinated by the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, the government pointed to the constitutional requirement that the vote be held no later than 26 July, one month prior to the expiration of Nkurunziza's term. With the election only days away, the mediation effort was largely unsuccessful. Museveni acted as mediator for one day and then placed the Ugandan Minister of Defense, Crispus Kiyonga, in charge of the effort. Government representatives did not attend the talks on 19 July, and they were consequently suspended.










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