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Burundi Court: President Nkurunziza Can Run for Third Term

Burundi constitutional court has said that President Pierre Nkurunziza can run for a third term.

The court argued that his first term as President does not count as he was appointed by parliament., BBC reports.

His third-term bid has led to more than a week of deadly protests.

The court’s decision comes after its vice-president reportedly fled the country citing “death threats”.

Sylvere Nimpagaritse said most of the court’s judges thought the third-term bid was unconstitutional, but they were under pressure to change their minds, reports AFP.

On Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Mr Nkurunziza to abandon his re-election bid.

“We are deeply concerned about President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision, which flies directly in the face of the constitution of this country,” Mr Kerry told reporters during a visit to Kenya.

The announcement on 25 April that Mr Nkurunziza would run for a third term in June’s elections sparked a wave of protests, as well as diplomatic criticism.

Mr Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader, has been in power since 2005, when he was appointed by parliament following a peace deal that ended a 12-year civil war.

He then won the 2010 presidential election after the main opposition parties boycotted the vote over concerns that it would be rigged.

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