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Burundi’s new president Ndayishimiye to be sworn in Thursday

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Burundi’s newly-elected president Evariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi’s ruling party, the CNDD-FDD, casts his ballot. Photo: Evrard Ngendakumana/Reuters

Burundi’s newly-elected president Evariste Ndayishimiye will be sworn in on Thursday, the foreign ministry announced, after the sudden death of the incumbent forced authorities to expedite the ceremony.

President Pierre Nkurunziza died last week aged 55, of what authorities said was a heart attack.

His death came less than two weeks after his wife had been flown to a Nairobi hospital for treatment for the coronavirus, according to a medical document seen by AFP.

The foreign ministry invited diplomats and foreign organisations to “take part in the inauguration ceremony” in the capital Gitega, in a letter sent out on Monday.

Ndayishimiye, 52, a former army general and Hutu rebel like his predecessor, had been handpicked by the powerful ruling CNDD-FDD to run in a May 20 presidential election.

He won the vote with 68.7 percent, and an opposition bid to have the results overturned due to alleged fraud was overturned just days before Nkurunziza’s death.

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