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As Burundians Vote in Presidential Election, Many Are Afraid to Pick a Side

As Burundians Vote in Presidential Election, Many Are Afraid to Pick a Side

BUJUMBURA, Burundi — After months of unrest and a night of explosions and gunfire, Burundians went to the polls on Tuesday in a presidential election whose results are not in doubt but whose consequences could prove deeply destabilizing.

President Pierre Nkurunziza is seeking a third term in office in defiance of international condemnation and opposition at home. Every major opposition party in this impoverished African nation has boycotted the election.

At several polling places around Bujumbura, the capital, turnout was low on Tuesday, with voters often outnumbered by campaign workers and the police. Many people who chose not to vote expressed deep skepticism about a process they deemed little more than political theater.

Several explosions rocked the city overnight, and sporadic shooting could be heard just hours before the polls opened. At least two police officers and one civilian were killed, according to the government.

Source: As Burundians Vote in Presidential Election, Many Are Afraid to Pick a Side – The New York Times