Burundi’s FNL political party has elected former rebel leader Agathon Rwasa as its candidate for the 2010 presidential elections.
The tiny central African country of 8 million people is emerging from more than a decade of civil war that killed 300 000 people.
"If I am lucky enough to be elected president of the republic, I will govern for every Burundian regardless of ethnic or political group to which someone belongs," Rwasa told reporters late yesterday.
"The time of taking power by force is over. Now is the time for dialogue and democracy," he said after a two-day meeting of FNL leaders.
Former president Domitien Ndayizeye has also been chosen by his FRODEBU party as candidate.
The Palipehutu Forces for National Liberation (FNL) was Burundi’s last rebel group. It had been fighting to end years of political dominance by the Tutsi ethnic group in the tiny central African nation.
During implementation of the peace deal, FNL insisted on the political name "Palipehutu", which means party for the liberation of Hutus. The government rejected the demand, saying Burundi’s constitution does not allow parties with ethnic affiliations.