Burundi’s Evariste Ndayishimiye sworn in as new president

Friday, June 19th, 2020 00:00 |
Evariste Ndayishimiye takes oath of office as the new president of Burundi during his swearing-in ceremony in Gitega, Burundi. (Xinhua/Evrard Ngendakumana)


Burundi's president-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye, who won the May 20 presidential election, was sworn in Thursday in the political capital Gitega in central Burundi.

Ndayishimiye took the oath before the Burundian people in the swearing-in ceremony at a stadium, vowing to respect the Constitution and the Unity Charter, adopted in 1991 to bring together its three ethnic groups -- Hutu, Tutsi and Twa.

"I undertake to devote all my forces to defend the higher interests of the nation, ensure national unity and cohesion of the Burundian people, peace and social justice..." he said while swearing, with his right hand raised.

The new president, who took over the presidency following the sudden death of the former president Pierre Nkurunziza on June 8, promised to consolidate the national sovereignty, promote human rights in his first speech after taking the oath.

He also called on Burundian refugees to return home and contribute to the country's development.

"We will show the international community that Burundi is able to contribute to the world development," he said, adding that the central African country is open for countries that are willing to cooperate with it.

Ndayishimiye will serve a seven-year term in office and can renew the term once.

The Constitutional Court on June 4 upheld the provisional results of the presidential election, declaring Ndayishimiye of the ruling party the winner by securing 68.70 percent of votes.

He had been expected to take office in August when Nkurunziza's term ends, however Nkurunziza's death due to heart attack brought forward the swearing-in.

Born in 1968 in central Burundi's Gitega province, Ndayishimiye held several senior positions in the government including Minister of Home Affairs and Public Security, senior advisor in the office of the president in charge of military affairs and that in charge of civil affairs, successively, before being elected as Secretary General of the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy in 2016. (Xinhua)

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