Burundi President-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye to be sworn in as soon as possible, court rules
A top court in Burundi has ruled that President-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye be sworn in as soon as possible following the unexpected demise of his predecessor Pierre Nkurunziza.
The Constitutional Court said the post of President of the Republic of Burundi is vacant and country cannot operate with a power vacuum.
“There is no need to name an interim president as the election to choose a president has already been held,” the court noted.
Reuters reports that the constitution provides for the Speaker of Parliament to take over when a President dies.
However, the Cabinet moved to court to seek direction in the matter.
Burundian lawyer Janvier Bigirimana told the Washington Post that there had been uncertainty over whether the Parliament Speaker should hold forte or the President-elect should be sworn in.
The court ruled that “the interim period is not necessary and that…Ndayishimiye must be sworn in as soon as possible,” the Burundian government said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Nkurunziza, 55, died on June 8 in what officials said was the result of cardiac arrest.
The former rebel had ruled the country for 15 years, his rule marked by widespread brutality and repression of his opponents.
Rtds Gen. Ndayishimiye was declared winner of the presidential election last month after fending off a challenge from the opposition’s Agathon Rwasa.
It was the country’s first competitive presidential election since a civil war erupted in 1993.
Report from Reuters, BBC and Washington Post
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