In Burundi Nkurunziza wins presidential vote boycotted by rivals

The opposition, which had complained about frequent police intimidation of its members and shuttering of private media, rejected the result.

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Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza speaks during a news conference in Bujumbura, Burundi, May 17, 2015. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic play Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza speaks during a news conference in Bujumbura, Burundi, May 17, 2015. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
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Burundi President, Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term in office on Friday after the opposition boycotted the vote, a victory that leaves the east African nation politically divided and facing international isolation after months of unrest.

Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term plunged Burundi into its biggest crisis since an ethnically charged civil war ended in 2005. The opposition says Nkurunziza's bid violated the constitution and could spark another conflict.

Read: Government to announce presidential poll result on Friday

Major donors United States and the European Union, both critical of Nkurunziza, have threatened measures from cutting aid to imposing sanctions after Burundi went ahead with an election they said could not be free or fair.

Nkurunziza won 69.41 percent of the 2.8 million votes cast on Tuesday, winning handsomely in the rural regions where most of Burundi's 10 million people live, the national electoral commission chief announced at a press conference on Friday.

His nearest rival, Agathon Rwasa, took 18.99 percent.

The opposition, which had complained about frequent police intimidation of its members and shuttering of private media, rejected the result.

"We will not recognise the outcome of this election and the institutions resulting from it," Frederic Bamvuginyumvira, president of the opposition FRODEBU party, said after Nkurunziza was announced the winner.

The presidency was not immediately available for comment but has in the past rejected claims of police heavy-handedness. Nkurunziza's supporters also point to a constitutional court ruling allowing the president to seek a third term.

Extremely low turnout in Bujumbura, where weeks of protests against Nkurunziza's presidency took place in the run-up to the vote, indicate opposition to Nkurunziza's presidency remains strong. Turnout in the capital stood at 29.75 percent against a national average of 73.44 percent.

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