Burundi will seek constitutional interpretation on how to proceed over the power vacuum created by the death of president Pierre Nkurunziza on June 8.
The First Vice-President, Gaston Sindimwo, today (June 11) chaired an extraordinary Council of Ministers – cabinet – meeting which agreed to refer the issue to the apex court.
Cabinet wants the court “to declare the vacancy of the post of President of the Republic following the death of Pierre Nkurunziza,” a tweet by the VP’s office said. The country is observing a one-week national mourning period.
The vacancy will pave the way for the appointment of a replacement for the former president. Nkurunziza was due to handover power in August to Evariste Ndayishimiye who won May 2020 elections.
Reports after the demise of Nkurunziza suggested that the Head of National Assembly, Pascal Nyabenda, was expected to play the acting role till the investiture of Ndayishimiye. Meanwhile, more dignitaries continue to troop to the state house to sign a book of condolence opened since Tuesday.
Among those that have signed the book are wife of the president-elect but Ndayishimiye himself have yet to do so. Denise Nkurunziza, wife of the former president, also returned from Kenya yesterday where she had been seeking treatment for an undisclosed medical condition.
In the issuance of condolences to the government, Chad for instance addressed its official message to Vice-President Simdimwo whiles the Botswana president addressed his message to Pascal Nyabenda referring to him as President of National Assembly and Acting President of Burundi.
The United States extends its condolences to those mourning the loss of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza. We remain a committed partner and friend to the Burundian people.
Following a peaceful transition to President-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye, we look forward to working with him and the new government. We reaffirm our support for Burundi’s aspirations for a more democratic, prosperous, peaceful future.