Burundians head to the polls to pick next president

Voters in Burundi are heading to the polls to elect their new president. <br>The incumbent, Pierre Nkurunziza is stepping down after 15 years, but with state-funded private housing, a lifetime salary, and an official title.

Seven candidates hope to replace Pierre Nkurunziza as the next president of Burundi.

Under the new constitution, the winner will now serve an extended seven-year term, renewable once.

The changes would have allowed Mr Nkurunziza to serve as president until 2034.

He, however, opted to retire, but with a new role, to be known as "the supreme guide to patriotism".

Burundi’s new president would need to consult him on matters of national importance.

It is however unclear if he will be bound by the supreme guide’s preferred decisions.

Seven out of 10 Burundians live below the poverty line, and will be hoping for an end to years of unrest, and perhaps improved international relations that could help better their lives.

Ferdinand Omondi

BBC News, Nairobi


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