Burundi’s Ruling Party Picks Ndayishimiye as Presidential Candidate

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Burundi’s ruling party has named its secretary-general, Maj Gen Evariste Ndayishimiye, as its presidential candidate in elections in May, as President Pierre Nkuruziza steps down after 14 years in power.

Maj Gen Ndayishimiye is seen as moderate and is generally respected by the opposition and public, despite his long-standing relationship with Mr Nkurunziza.

He was not implicated in atrocities committed during the crisis which broke out in 2015 after Mr Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term.

Maj Gen Ndayishimiye has been the secretary-general of the ruling CNDD-FDD party since 2016, making him the favourite to succeed Mr Nkurunziza.

He survived the massacres on university students in June 1995 during the civil war that erupted after the assassination of President Merlchior Ndadaye in 1993.

Maj Gen Ndayishimiye joined what was then the CNDD rebel group, and fought alongside Mr Nkurunziza.

When the CNDD-FDD went into government following the Arusha peace accord in 2003, he had already climbed to the rank of Maj Gen in the rebel group and was transferred to work in the national army’s high command.

After the disputed 2005 election, Maj Gen Ndayishimiye became minister of interior until 2007 when he was appointed as Mr Nkurunziza’s military adviser.

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