UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. observer mission has concluded that Burundi's parliamentary elections on Monday were not "free, credible and inclusive."
A preliminary statement Thursday from the observers said voting took place "in a tense political crisis" and that "fundamental freedoms of participation, assembly, expression, opinion and information" suffered increasing restrictions as election day approached.
Burundi has been hit by violence since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to seek a third term. Protesters say Nkurunziza must go after serving the maximum two terms, but the president's supporters say he is eligible for a third term because he was chosen by lawmakers, not popularly elected, for his first term.
The observer mission is calling for an end to violence and respect for human rights ahead of upcoming presidential and senate elections.