Burundi: Govt Moves Ahead With May Election Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Supporters of the ruling party, the National Council for Defence of Democracy – Forces for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD).

The race to become Burundi's next president is officially underway as authorities proclaim God will protect citizens from the novel coronavirus, which has already infected 15 people in the central African nation and caused the death of one other.

Seven candidates launched campaigns Monday, with large rallies that are off limits in other parts of Africa, where governments are mandating that people practice social distancing to curtail the spread of the virus.

Burundi’s presidential, legislative and municipal elections are scheduled for May 20.  Opposition groups accused President Pierre Nkurunziza’s administration of being irresponsible for not delaying the election.

Nkurunziza, who is stepping down from power and is apparently shunning measures to slow the spread of the virus, told supporters at a large rally Monday that he is backing General Evariste Ndayishimiye, the CNDD-FDD's presidential candidate.

Nkurunziza's 15-year tenure has been marred by controversy, including his  2015 decision to seek a third term, which resulted in a deadly civil uprising.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.