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Burundians living in Nairobi vote in country’s referendum

Hundreds of Burundians living in Nairobi on Thursday lined up at the International Life House to participate in a referendum on the country’s presidential term.

The East African nation is holding a referendum to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to a proposed extension of the presidential term from five years to seven.

The proposal if backed by a majority will allow the incumbent, Pierre Nkurunziza, to rule for up to 14 more years after his current term expires in 2020.

Burundians living in Nairobi waited patiently outside their embassy to have a say on the presidential terms.

One of the voters whose name we will withhold said taking part in the referendum will ensure their opinion on the presidential term limits is heard.


“I have been following the debate and have heard from both the no and yes camps and so I sure by decision today will be an informed one despite me living outside Burundi,” the voter told Nairobi News.

The country’s embassy facilitated its citizens to take part in the referendum whose outcome is being awaited worldwide.

BBC reported that the Burundi government has been accused by human rights groups of launching a campaign of repression, violence and fear to ensure the vote goes in President Nkurunziza’s favour ahead of the vote.

President Nkurunziza is serving his third term despite the constitutionally allowed two terms and the increased terms were as a result of a win in the courts that declared that in his first term in 2005 he was not elected by voters but by parliament.