İrem UZUN -TDO- Burundi's ruling party candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye was on Monday declared the winner of the country's presidential election, which the opposition has said was flawed. The national election commission announced that Ndayishimiye had won 68.72 percent of the vote, while opposition leader Agathon Rwasa came in far behind with 24.19 percent.
Ndayishimiye, 52, is a former army general who was handpicked by the ruling CNDD-FDD to replace President Pierre Nkurunziza. Nkurunziza has been in power since 2005, and his final years in office have been racked by turmoil. His controversial decision to seek a third term in the last election in 2015 sparked mass unrest, violence and an opposition boycott.
The final election results are set to declared by the Constitutional Court on June 4. When sworn in, Ndayishimiye will rule for a seven-year term. He is expected to be sworn in for a seven-year term in late August, when Nkurunziza's term ends.
Ndayishimiye’s governance is expected to be the first democratic transfer of power in 58 years of independence of Burundi. Still, Ndayishimiye will rule in the shadow of Nkurunziza, who will remain chairman of the party’s highly influential council of elders. According to the law, Ndayishimiye will have to consult Nkurunziza on matters of national security and national unity.