Yesterday, Reuters reported that Burundi opposition leader, Agathon Rwasa, who won a mere 18.99 percent of the vote during the recent presidential elections, accepted the position of deputy speaker in parliament.
Rwasa’s coalition, Amizero y’Abarundi, had taken the decision to boycott the presidential and parliamentary elections, steadfastly opposing President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term, which has been deemed unconditional by many. The announcement plunged the country into the biggest crisis it has experienced since the end of the civil war in 2005.
Reuters stated that a political ally of Rwasa’s said that his decision to become the deputy speaker in the Burundi parliament could cause a split in their alliance.
Since Nkurunziza’s win for his third term in office was announced last Friday, July 24, opposition members have been split when it comes to taking up seats in the parliament. Even though they boycotted the polls, candidates’ names stayed on the ballot papers resulting in some of them winning seats in parliament.
Charles Nditije, of the opposition Uprona part, acting as the junior partner in the Amizero y’Abarundi collation, told Reuters that “if Rwasa (joins the cabinet) of Nkurunziza – which will not organise other credible, inclusive and democratic elections within a year – then we will separate.” Nditije was referring to the demands made by the opposition for a re-run of the presidential poll.