Burundi’s should swear-in president-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye as incumbent as soon as possible, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled today.
Cabinet, led by the First Vice President, at an extraordinary session on Thursday referred transition issues to the court seeking interpretation of relevant laws.
The vacuum at the presidency was occasioned by the death on Monday of Pierre Nkurunziza, who had been president since 2005 and was due to hand over to Ndayishimiye in August.
Experts said the speaker of parliament, Pascal Nyabenda, should have been appointed acting president – which situation did not take place.
Ndayishimiye, run on the ticket of the ruling CNDD-FDD party, winning the May presidential election. The opposition unsuccessfully contested the vote which they insist was tainted but the Constitutional Court rejected their petition.
June 11: Cabinet meeting resolutions
Burundi’s cabinet issued a statement after an extraordinary session to discuss the way forward in a post-Nkurunziza era. The statement signed by Prosper Ntahorwamiye, government spokesperson, addressed constitutional issues relative to transfer of executive authority.
It stated that the cabinet was seeking constitutional directives from the constitutional court arguing the need for the two vice-presidents to take interim charge till a substantive president is sworn into office.
In the other matters section of the release, government announced a suspension of all irreligious music in public places during the period of mourning for the former president. A seven-day national mourning was announced on June 9, a day after the death occured.
The government statement said music in bars, nightclubs and karaoke sessions were suspended. Mayor of the commercial capital, Bujumbura, Freddy Mbonimpa in a separate statement confirmed the ban but clarified that gospel music was allowed.
A position that governor of the capital, Gitega, Venant Manirambona also echoed. In Bujumbura leisure activities were suspended during the mourning period. Only wedding parties, funerals and mourning wakes are allowed, he said.