Democracy still far as Burundians head for legislative polls: Ndayizeye
"In our view, true democracy ... in which Burundians elect their leaders without pressure, in broad daylight, is still far from us," Ndayizeye told a gathering in the capital Bujumbura during the country's 43rd independence day celebrations.
In reference to alleged cases of ballot disappearance, acts of terrorism and intimidation by some political parties during the June 3 local elections, Ndayizeye asked the electoral commission to "seek solutions to problems" that have hindered the holding of democratic elections.
"In three days time, we will return to the polling booths ... we call upon you to vote peacefully without fear ... we urge you to vote for men and women whom you know well, people with indubitable efficiency," Ndayizeye added.
Monday's elections will be the second in a string of polls that kicked off with last month's municipal elections and are to peak with the selection of the country's next president on August 19.
Ndayizeye's Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) party, which lost the June 3 local elections to the rival former main rebel group, the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD), dismissed those results, saying that voters were under FDD pressure.
Burundi is still struggling from the devastation of a 12-year-old ethnically-based civil war that killed some 300,00 people. The current electoral process is aimed at restoring stability.
Copyright (c) 2005 Agence France-Presse
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 07/01/2005 11:58:07
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