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Burundi parties appeal for calm as presidential bid protests continue

Saturday, May 09, 2015 - 01:32

Burundi parties appeal for calm as the president registers to run for a third term, amid simmering tensions. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Security is tight on the streets of Bujumbura, after weeks of angry protests aimed at stopping Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in office The president has now officially registered to run. The constitutional court ruled that his first term did not count as it came about by appointment, not by election. And despite the protests, the president is refusing to back down, saying most of the country supports him. (SOUNDBITE) (Kirundi) BURUNDI PRESIDENT, PIERRE NKURUNZIZA, SAYING: "99 percent is at peace so this is not a reason to halt the elections." But his opponents say they won't give up. They accuse Nkurunziza of violating the constitution. Clashes have consumed the streets, with some protesters lobbing grenades and police firing live rounds. The violence escalated Thursday when a man was burned alive. Opposition leader Jean Minani is calling for peace. (SOUNDBITE) (French) REPRESENTATIVE OF OPPOSITION PARTIES AGAINST THE THIRD TERM BID FOR PRESIDENT NKURUNZIZA, JEAN MINANI, SAYING: "We make a strong appeal to our brothers and sisters, our militants, sympathizers, those loyal to us and to security forces so they show restraint and refrain from any action that could exacerbate tensions and violations of human rights." Rights groups say the violence has killed at least 17 people, and there are growing fears that it can only get worse.

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Burundi parties appeal for calm as presidential bid protests continue

Saturday, May 09, 2015 - 01:32