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Monday, March 26, 2018

Burundi's president Pierre Nkurunziza Sign Decree Setting May 17 for a Referendum on changes to the constitution


Burundi's president Pierre Nkurunziza has signed a decree setting May 17 for a referendum on changes to the constitution that could keep him in power until 2034, days after some ruling party members bestowed on him the title of "eternal supreme guide."

The decree, shared online Sunday March 25,2018 by Burundi's UN ambassador and other officials, could lead to more unrest in the East African country that saw deadly political violence after the president's disputed decision in 2015 to seek a third term.

Opposition and human rights groups have called the referendum a plot byPierre Nkurunziza
to stay in power for life.

The proposed changes to the constitution include extending a presidential term from five years to seven. Nkurunziza's current term expires in 2020.

Pierre Nkurunziza rose to power in 2005 following the signing of the Arusha accords to end Burundi's 13-year civil war that killed about 300,000 people. He was re-elected unopposed in 2010 after the opposition boycotted the vote. Nkurunziza said he was eligible for a third term because lawmakers, not the people, had chosen him for his first term, but critics called the move unconstitutional.

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