Bujumbura (Agenzia Fides) - "The Bishops’ Conference has never appealed to the Constitutional Court, all it did was report its observation work to the public for which it had received accreditation", says a statement from the Burundi Conference of Catholic Bishops, sent to Agenzia Fides.
"After hearing the announcement of the final and official results of the election of the President of the Republic, made by the President of the Constitutional Court on 4 June 2020, we were very surprised to hear that the Constitutional Court mentioned the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi (CECAB) as if he were a plaintiff about the election", says the statement.
The court confirmed that Evariste Ndayishimiye, the presidential majority candidate was elected in the first round of voting with 68.72% of the votes in the May 20 elections. Agathon Rwasa of the National Council for Freedom (CNL) obtained 24.19% of the votes.
On May 26, the CECAB had published a note on the conduct of the vote on the basis of the 2716 observers deployed by the Catholic Church, in which it was claimed to have found "several irregularities" (see Fides, 27/5/2020).
"The Bishops’ Conference has never appealed to the Court, all it did was report its observation work to the public for which it had received accreditation" specify the Bishops, who say that "it was the President of the Constitutional Court to insistently and urgently request the illustrative elements of the irregularities that the Bishops’ Conference deplored in its press release of May 26".
"The Bishops’ Conference in good faith sent some elements to the President of the Court in a confidential Note, given that the complete report on the election observation is intended in principle to INEC(Independent Electoral Commission), according to the "Code of Conduct of the domestic and foreign observers for the 2020 electoral process", continues the statement.
There was no reason for us to file a complaint because, in the election in question, the observer's role was "to write down only irregularities and facts observed with its own eyes", as stipulated by the Code of Conduct for Observers", say the Bishops who conclude by saying "to take note of the results proclaimed by the Constitutional Court. We invite all Burundians to love truth and justice and to be operators of peace and unity in our dear homeland".
On June 5, the Bishops sent a congratulatory message to the newly elected Head of State, Evariste Ndayishimiye, assuring him of their prayers for "the realization and success of his noble mission". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 8/6/2020)