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Burundi Approves Life Pension For Ex-Presidents Amid Poverty

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza provides a speech as he inaugurates the brand new state home constructed by the Chinese support in Bujumbura, throughout its inauguration on September 27, 2019. AFP

 

Burundi lawmakers on Tuesday adopted laws providing a golden parachute to outgoing presidents, together with a luxurious villa and a one-off sum equal to greater than half 1,000,000 {dollars}.

The transfer comes 4 months forward of May 20 elections for which President Pierre Nkurunziza has mentioned he is not going to run.

In 2015, his marketing campaign for a 3rd time period plunged the nation into violence and led to an everlasting political disaster.

The new legislation states that on the finish of the mandate, the president will obtain “a luxury villa built with public funds in the location of his choice within five years, as well as a one-off allocation of one billion Burundian francs” ($530,000, 480,000 euros).

This quantity is a fortune in Burundi the place greater than 65 per cent stay in poverty and the place 50 per cent of the nation is food-insecure, in keeping with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP).

The laws, adopted with 98 votes for and two towards, differentiates between former heads of state elected through common suffrage — of which Nkurunziza is the one candidate — and people who got here to energy through peace deal or navy coup.

“A president who came to power via the simple consensus of a group of politicians does not have the same regard as one who was democratically elected,” Justice Minister Aimee-Laurentine Kanyana instructed the nationwide meeting.

The retired president may even get the identical advantages as a serving vice-president for seven years after he steps down, and can for the remainder of his life get an allowance equal to that of a lawmaker.

The value and measurement of the villa that will probably be supplied are usually not specified.

“The benefits that will be given to a president at the end of his mandate are exorbitant if one takes into account the crisis in the country, but it is a positive measure as it seems to indicate very clearly that Nkurunziza will in fact not run for the presidency,” a diplomat in Burundi instructed AFP on situation of anonymity.

Nkurunziza stunned observers when he introduced he wouldn’t search one other time period in workplace, regardless of a brand new structure in 2018, adopted by referendum, permitting him to take action.

AFP

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