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Africa News Thu, 18 Jun 2020

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Burundi’s Evariste Ndayishimiye is sworn in as president

Burundi's newly elected president, Evariste Ndayishimiye, has been sworn in two months earlier than planned.

Attendees had been told to arrive early to allow time for coronavirus precautions such as hand-washing and temperature checks, AFP reports.

The fast-tracked ceremony comes after his predecessor Pierre Nkurunziza died suddenly last week.

Mr Ndayishimiye is a former rebel leader, like Mr Nkurunziza.

He was backed by his predecessor and was declared the winner of May's presidential election, which the opposition said was rigged.

Mr Nkurunziza died aged 55 on 8 June after suffering a cardiac arrest, the government said. There are unconfirmed reports that he was suffering from Covid-19.

After 15 years in power, Mr Nkurunziza was due to step down in August.

According to Burundi's constitution, if the head of state dies in office then the president of the national assembly, currently Pascal Nyabenda, should succeed him.

But after a ruling by Burundi's Constitutional Court, Mr Ndayishimiye's inauguration in the capital, Gitega, was brought forward.

Source: bbc.com

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