Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza will run for another five-year term as leader after his ruling CNDD-FDD party picked him as its candidate for the election later this year.
Thousands of party supporters jammed Bujumbura’s streets in a carnival atmosphere as the former Hutu rebel group held a special session.
“I am very happy today (Saturday) as you have shown confidence in me. I promise to you that I will spare no efforts so that our nation can continue on the path of development,” Nkurunziza said.
Burundi will hold district elections on May 21, a presidential election on June 28, a parliamentary poll on July 23 and a vote for senators on July 28. The electoral process will conclude with local elections in September.
The election will be the first democratic poll since 2005, when former rebel Nkurunziza was elected president after a long UN-backed peace process.
Former rebel leader Agathon Rwasa will be the Forces for National Liberation’s (FNL) presidential candidate and Domitien Ndayizeye, president of a transitional government in 2003-2005, will run for the FRODEBU party.
Former journalist Alexis Sinduhije, considered by many as a credible threat for Nkurunziza, will vie on a Movement for Solidarity and Democracy ticket. Burundi will also have for the first time in its history two women presidential candidates.
Burundi, which has a population of 8 million and borders Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, is emerging from more than a decade of civil war that killed 300 000 people.
The country is enjoying relative peace since the last Hutu guerrilla group, FNL, agreed to lay down weapons and join the government.
Many see the 2010 elections as a way of consolidating peace and Burundi’s democratic achievements.
Pic: PresidentPierre Nkurunziza of Burundi