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Burundi's ruling party urges constitution amendment to allow formation of gov't of unity

BUJUMBURA, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The Burundian ruling party Monday requested the East African Community (EAC), which is participating in the facilitation of the Burundian crisis, to understand the need for a constitution amendment for the formation of a government of unity.

"The National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) requests the EAC's understanding of the need to amend the national constitution in order to be able to implement the recommendations of setting up a government of national unity," said CNDD-FDD Chairman Pascal Nyabenda in a congratulatory message. He sent the message Monday evening to President Pierre Nkurunziza after his re-election for a third term as the east African country's president on July 21.

In his message, Nyabenda said, "The amendment of the national constitution would help avoid the resurgence of the 2005 scenario when Nkurunziza integrated other political parties in the government with good faith, but the opposition rejected it, claiming that it was unconstitutional."

"The CNDD-FDD party reiterates its commitment to respect the principles of democracy, freedom, transparency and inclusiveness in elections and urges the international community to support the government in order to go forward towards liberty," Nyabenda said in the message.

On July 21, Burundi held a controversial presidential poll boycotted by main opposition groups that argued that the climate was not favorable for holding credible and inclusive elections.

Main opposition groups had been saying that Nkurunziza's third term bid was a violation of the Arusha Agreement and the Burundian Constitution, but the Constitutional Court earlier in May issued a ruling saying that Nkurunziza's 2005-2010 term should not be considered as a term because he was elected by the parliament and not directly by citizens.

Protests against Nkurunziza's third term bid left more than 80 killed since April 25, when the Burundian ruling party designated Nkurunziza to run for the presidential election.

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