Burundians to vote in referendum to extend president’s rule

Burundians to vote in referendum to extend president’s rule

- in News

Burundians vote Thursday in a referendum on constitutional reforms that are set to shore up the power of President Pierre Nkurunziza, enabling him to rule until 2034.

The referendum comes as Burundi remains mired in a deep political crisis — triggered by Nkurunziza’s run for a controversial third term in 2015 — that has killed 1,200 and forced 400,000 from their homes.

Voting in Thursday’s straight yes or no ballot is due to begin at 6:00 am (0400 GMT) with polls closing at 4:00 pm.

Some 4.8 million people, or a little under half the population, have signed up to vote, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), which is running the referendum.

The changes will be adopted if more than 50 percent of cast ballots are in favour.

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