Burundi’s constitutional court has ruled to end the power vacuum created by the sudden death of President Pierre Nkurunziza last Monday. He died of a cardiac arrest after being taken ill on Saturday evening according to government sources.
The apex Court disclosed that President-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye should be sworn in as soon as possible.
According to the law of the land, the Speaker of parliament, Pascal Nyabenda, should have become the interim leader but the cabinet referred to the court for interpretation and now Mr Ndayishimiye is due to become president two months early.
He was elected in May to replace President Nkurunziza, who had been in power for 15 years.
The judges acknowledged the constitution says the interim period under the speaker of parliament was designed as a time to hold fresh elections, but the president-elect’s recent victory nullifies that stance.
The late president Nkurunziza had been able to run for a fourth term in last month’s election but decided to retire.
The country hailed him as their “supreme guide to patriotism”. Plenty unconfirmed reports said Mr Nkurunziza died after of the coronavirus.
SOS Médias Burundi, which is made up of exiled journalists, quoted both a medical source and another source close to the government asserting the late president had Covid-19.