World Bulletin / News Desk
The speaker of Burundi's parliament has fled the central African nation, saying on a French television station from Belgium a day ahead of parliamentary elections that he feared for his life, after opposing President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in office.
The president's decision in April to stand again, branded unconstitutional by opponents, triggered weeks of often violent street protests and Burundi's worst crisis since an ethnically charged civil war ended in 2005. Nkurunziza says a constitutional court ruling allows him to run for another term.
"I was forced to quit the country due to the unrest caused by the president's insistence to seek a third term bid which is illegal, which is unconstitutional," National Assembly Speaker Pie Ntavyohanyuma said on France 24 TV.
"I personally advised President Nkurunziza to drop his plan for a third term, but his answer was to threaten me, to humiliate me," he said.
Government spokesmen were not immediately available to comment.
Last week Second Vice President Gervais Rufyikiri also said he had fled to Belgium for the same reason.
In May the vice president of Burundi's election commission and a senior judge fled the country, amid protests demanding Nkurunziza stand down.Last Mod: 28 Haziran 2015, 17:09