Magazine article New Internationalist

Introducing. Pierre Nkurunziza

Magazine article New Internationalist

Introducing. Pierre Nkurunziza

Article excerpt

The man nobody wants just won't oblige and fade into the woodwork. Nkurunziza has been re-elected president of the small east-central African state of Burundi despite opposition from the US, South Africa and the African Union. All believe this born-again Christian and Hutu nationalist is divisive and not entitled to run for a third term, because the Burundi constitution has a two-term limit.

Nevertheless, Nkurunziza swept to power with a landslide (nearly 70 per cent of the vote) this July. He called his victory (with less than 30 per cent turnout) 'a divine miracle'. Much of the opposition boycotted the election.

Nkurunziza fosters the 'man of the people' image so popular with the African political class; he spends so much time in the fields planting avocado trees that some Burundians have renamed the fruit amaPeter after him. …

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