Polling stations in Burundi’s controversial parliamentary and local elections have officially opened, with the climate tense after two months of protests sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term. Aljazeera was there:
The polls opened at 6am local time (04:00 GMT) on Monday. Some 3.8 million Burundians are eligible to vote in the polls, which the opposition and civil society groups are boycotting, claiming they will not be free and fair. Burundian authorities have refused to delay the elections despite calls from the international community.
Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa, reporting from a polling station in the capital Bujumbura, said the atmosphere was filled with fear and tension on Monday morning, with many fearing a continuation of the violence that has marred the lead-up to the elections.
She said there were delays reported at several polling stations across the country, following violence. “There aren’t many people here, I would say around 50. Several polling stations were attacked and there was gunfire overnight,” she said.