Burundi's ruling party accuses new UN mediator of bias

The ruling party has accused the UN mediator of meeting only with the opposition.

Burundi's ruling party accuses new UN mediator of bias

World Bulletin / News Desk

Burundi's ruling party has accused Abdoulaye Bathily, the UN’s newly-appointed mediator in the East African country's ongoing political crisis, of disrespecting the government.

"The mediator [Bathily] has refused any contact with the country's authorities, including the president of the republic,” presidential spokesman Gelasius Ndabirabe Daniel told reporters.

The spokesman went on to accuse Bathily of only meeting with members of the country’s opposition and civil society and attempting to “prevent the UN from observing the [recent parliamentary and municipal] elections."

"He is therefore a partisan mediator," Daniel asserted.

Last month, Bathily replaced Said Djinnit, who had attempted to mediate talks between the government and opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s intention to seek a third term in office. 

Djinnit had been accused by Burundi’s opposition and civil society of bias in favor of Nkurunziza and the ruling party. 

Bathily, a Senegalese national, was appointed to the post on June 20 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Burundi has been rocked by protest since the ruling party named Nkurunziza its candidate for presidential elections slated for July 15.

According to the opposition, Nkurunziza – in power since 2005 – lacks the constitutional right to vie for a third term in office. Burundi's Constitutional Court, however, recently ruled that a third-term bid by the president would not violate the country’s national charter.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Temmuz 2015, 14:57