Following the sudden death of President Pierre Nkurunziza, anticipation is high in central Burundi province of Gitega as president elect Evariste Ndayishimiye is set to be sworn to office today (Thursday).
Ndayishimiye 52, an army general was elected in May, and was scheduled to take oath of office in August, in a vote disputed by the opposition led by the Agathon Rwasa.
There were worries that powerful forces from the Army could disrupt the succession, however the country’s constitutional court ruled Ndayishimiye should be sworn in immediately following Nkurunziza’s death.
The said court also ruled out any challenges of the election by the opposition, which claims the vote was marred by violence and intimidation. Ndayishimiye won the elections by 69% of total votes cast.
President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic republic of Congo is the only head of state expected to attend the event – due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The incoming president was head of military affairs in Nkurunziza’s government, while also serving as minister of the interior ministry. It was reported by the government that Nkurunziza had died of a heart attack last week.
Though, the 55 year old was taken ill a little under two weeks after his wife had be airlifted to a Nairobi Hospital for coronavirus treatment, based on a medical report seen by AFP.