Ruling party candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye has won Burundi's presidential election by a landslide, preliminary results show, while the main opposition party cries fraud.
The independent election commission (CENI) announced partial results Monday, giving Ndayishimiye 69% of the vote and his chief competitor Agathon Rwasa of the opposition CNL party 24%.
Current First Vice President Gaston Sindimwo of the nationalist party Uprona finished far behind with just 2%.
CNL immediately cried foul. Party spokesman Terence Manirambona tells VOA’s Central Africa service that CNL has its own numbers to prove that Rwasa won.
“We are going to go through the appropriate channels to demand that the vote be recounted. We have a lot of facts that undeniably demonstrate that the results announced by CENI do not reflect the will of the people,” he said.
He said the party was “stunned” to hear what he says are false numbers and accuses the election commission of colluding with the ruling party to keep opposition election observers away from the polls.
There has been no response so far from the government or would-be president-elect Ndayishimiye.
But in another interview with VOA, First Vice President Sindomwo downplayed allegations that the election was rigged and congratulated the apparent winner.
“Elections are over now. We urge president-elect Evarisate Ndayishimiye to be the leader for all Burundians,” he said.
The ruling party also won 72 seats in the parliament while CNL took 27 seats and the Uprona party won one seat.
Final results are expected Tuesday and all parties have 10 days to challenge the outcome before the constitutional court.
Ndayishimiye is longtime president Pierre Nkurunziza’s hand-picked successor. He decided not to run again after 15 years in power.