Parliament elects Nkurunziza nation's president

Burundi's parliament voted 151 to 9 on Friday, electing Pierre Nkurunziza as the country's first post-transitional president. There was one abstention, state radio reported.

Nkurunziza, 40, won 91.52 percent of the votes cast by a joint congress of the National Assembly and the Senate, the two houses of parliament. Running on the ticket of the Conseil pour la defense de la democratie-Force pour la defense de la democratie, Nkurunziza was the sole presidential candidate. He required two-thirds of the vote, corresponding to 108 ballots, to win in the first round.

Announcing these results, the president of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Paul Ngarambe, said the results must go to the Constitutional Court for endorsement.

Under the 2002 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi, the legislature was to choose the country's first post-transitional president. Thereafter, the electorate will vote.

Nkurunziza became leader of his party in 2001 when it was still a rebel movement. The CNDD-FDD became a legitimate political party in May 2005. Shifting from rebel leader to statesman, Nkurunziza then became minister of state in charge of good governance and inspection of the state, a post he occupied until a few hours ago.

[BURUNDI: Woman elected speaker of lower house]