UN official calls for fair, peaceful elections in Burundi in 2020

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/6/15 9:56:20

Free, fair, inclusive and peaceful elections in Burundi in 2020 are crucial, said Jurg Lauber, chair of the Burundi configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, on Friday.

The results of elections should enjoy high legitimacy both inside the country and internationally, Lauber, who is Swiss ambassador to the United Nations, told the Security Council.

The elections are to ensure favorable conditions for lasting peace and stability as well as for continued partnership and cooperation around Burundi's development priorities, he added.

"I encourage the government of Burundi, political parties and other stakeholders, with the support of the Member States of the sub-region and building on previous efforts, to create the conditions that support this outcome," Lauber said.

He further encouraged the government of Burundi and international partners to identify rapidly which forms of assistance are desirable and feasible with a view to supporting the preparation and conduct of the 2020 elections.

Initiatives to promote reconciliation and dialogue among all stakeholders, including at the community level, play a crucial role in reducing tensions during the electoral period, said Lauber, in strengthening resilience beyond the elections and in helping to preserve the gains achieved through the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement.

In the meantime, the electoral period should not lead to a slowdown in the socioeconomic development of the country, Lauber added.

Burundi plunged into a crisis in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third-term bid, which he won in July 2015. His candidature, which was opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, resulted in a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup in May 2015.

In August 2018, a roadmap to Burundi's 2020 elections was signed by most political parties in Burundi, where they agreed to peacefully participate in the polls.


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