UN envoy calls on Burundian leaders to ensure peaceful fair elections

“The world is watching you,” Carolyn McAskie said at a press conference in the capital city of Bujumbura, asking the leaders to refrain from any fraudulent acts and to respect the Code of Conduct for political parties and the media. She also urged leaders to refrain from acts of intimidation and commit themselves to accept election results once they are approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). Ms. McAskie is the Secretary-General’s Special Representative heading the UN Operation in Burundi (ONUB), set up last May to help cement a multi-party government, provide technical and logistical aid to CENI and pave the way to peace in the tiny Central African nation torn asunder by ethnic conflict. The municipal ballot will be the first of a series of four other elections, including parliamentary elections (July 4), senatorial (July 19), presidential (August 19), and district-level elections (September 23).

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