The Former ruling party (CNDD-FDD) spokesman Gélase Ndabirabe was last Friday 8th 2020 elected as the speaker of Burundi’s parliament replacing Pascal Nyabenda after his five year term came to an end.
The newly elected Members of Parliament last week kick started the business with the electing of the speaker and his deputy who are set to chair the sittings for the next five years.
Of 123 legislators 90 took part in the electoral process with the current speaker Gélase Ndabirabe winning with a landslide victory as all the 90 law makers voted for the incumbent who will serve until 2025.
However the electoral process turned controversial as 32 members of parliament from the leading opposition party CNL (Nation Counsel of Liberty) walked out of the session.
“They did not inform us about the agenda of the day. Therefore we were forced to stay out. Since they said everything is over we dropped the activities to let them finish what they have started as we cannot do anything”, said Mr Agathon Rwasa the leader of the CNL political party.
Gélase Ndabirabe was voted as the speaker of the parliament and deputised by Sabine Ntakarutimana the former Health minister and second deputy speaker Abel Gashatsi.
CNL as the party that came second to CNDD-FDD in the general elections that was conducted in May were expected to have more seats in government and in the parliament, however the event took a drastic turn as Agathon Rwasa the leader of the CNL party was said to have rejected to field a candidate for the position of a deputy speaker of the parliament.
Earlier this year from the campaigns to general elections the opposition party CNL cried foul as its militants were said to have arbitrarily arrested, harassed or physically abused or tortured.
CNL party said that there were gross irregularities found in the May elections that saw President Evariste Ndayishimiye winning the presidential race as Mr. Rwasa the runners up resorted to the constitutional court over what he said was electoral fraud.