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Burundian’s Presidential Elections Under Chaos

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At least two people were reported to have been killed just hours before polling stations opened for voting in the country’s presidential elections on Tuesday morning.

Al Jazeera reports that a string of gunshots and explosions could be heard overnight in the capital Bujumbura. By dawn, two people – a police officer and a civilian – were killed.

Despite the fact that 3.8 million Burundians are eligible to vote, only a small number of voters could be seen entering the stations. Many opposition parties and voters have boycotted the elections, where President Pierre Nkurunziza seeks a third consecutive presidential term – in defiance of the country’s constitution which limits presidential tenures to two.

Burundi faces its worst crisis since 2005. Weeks of protests, a failed coup, clashed between armed forces and rebel fighters have brought Bujumbura to its knees. Nkurunziza has defied international advice from Western donors and the African Union to step down from office.

People stand in a long queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Ngozi during a parliamentary election in Burundi June 29, 2015