World Bulletin / News Desk
Burundi's ruling party and its allies have rejected calls for political dialogue, saying that the upcoming parliamentary elections are their main priority.
The international community has previously called for the opposing sides to resume political dialogue.
Nyabenda Pascal, chairman of the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), said: "For us, it is time to prepare for the elections. We are in an election campaign now. We do not want people to distract us."
Gaston Sindimwo, secretary general of the UPRONA, which is close to the CNDD-FDD, told the press that: "For us, the elections are the most important thing for now."
The African Union has urged stakeholders in the Burundi crisis to consider the plight of their people and engage in meaningful dialogue so as to end the wave of protests in the East African nation.
Since protests broke out in late April, at least 70 people have been killed, along with 500 injured and 1,000 detained, according to the local NGO Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons.
Burundi’s situation took a turn for the worse earlier last May when a group of army generals staged a failed coup attempt against Nkurunziza while he was attending a regional summit in Tanzania.
The opposition says Nkurunziza does not have the right to seek a third term, citing Burundi's constitution, which limits the number of terms a president can serve to two.
However, Burundi's Constitutional Court recently ruled that Nkurunziza's third-term bid would not violate the constitution.
The court ruled that, since he was elected in 2005 by parliament and not by the people, Nkurunziza's first stint in office should not be counted as a first presidential term per se.Last Mod: 24 Haziran 2015, 11:06