The Congress of Burundi’s ruling party on Sunday elected former Senate President Reverien Ndikuriyo to succeed the incumbent Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye as the new party leader.
Ndikuriyo was elected as the Secretary General of the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) in Gitega province, central Burundi.
Ndayishimiye, who won the presidency in the presidential election last May, had been holding this position since 2016.
Ndayishimiye told the congress that the central African nation has reached a satisfactory stage in the consolidation of good governance and democracy, and the CNDD-FDD has contributed to it a lot.
“Fraternity now characterizes political parties registered in Burundi. They are no longer enemies, but are rather complementary, ” said the president, who was elected the Secretary-General of the ruling party in 2016.
The new party leader was the President of the Senate from 2015 to 2020, and still serves as a senator until the present.
He replaces President Evariste Ndayishimiye who was secretary-general until now. Ndayishimiye, was named to the ruling party’s highest position, chairman of the Council of Elders. That position had been vacant since the death of President Pierre Nkurunziza in June, 2020.
The new secretary-general is known as a hardline member of the party who has made hostile speeches against the opposition.
“His election seems to consolidate the dominance of hardliners since the 2020 elections. The news of Ndikuriyo’s election does not bode well for human rights in Burundi,” reacted Carina Tertsakian of the Burundian Human Rights Initiative.
She questioned how Burundi’s president can fulfill his promises to respect democracy and the rule of law, with people like Ndikuriyo in such influential positions of the ruling party.