OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso—Burundi’s ruling party celebrated Monday after its candidate, Evariste Ndayishimiye, was declared the winner of last week’s presidential election. But the leading opposition party says it will contest the results, prompting fears of a return to the violence that plagued the country after President Pierre Nkurunziza’s disputed reelection in 2015, which sparked widespread protests that were met with a government crackdown. Since then, at least 1,200 people have been killed in intermittent clashes with security forces, while 400,000 have been forced to flee the country.
Burundi’s election commission announced that Ndayishimiye won handily, with nearly 69 percent of the vote. He is expected to be inaugurated in August. But Agathon Rwasa, who leads the main opposition National Freedom Council, or CNL, told World Politics Review that his party had actually garnered almost 60 percent of the vote and that he will contest the results in court.
“The people have won, they have defined their roadmap,” Rwasa said in an interview Monday, hours before the official results were announced. “We ask [the] electoral board and the constitutional courts as well as the security forces, the military, the police and the administration to surrender to the will of the people.”