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BURUNDI: Ex-rebel group wins absolute majority in communal poll

BUJUMBURA, 10 June 2005 (IRIN) - Burundi's former main rebel group, the Conseil national pour la défense de la démocratie-Forces nationales pour la défense de la démocratie (CNDD-FDD), won 55.3 percent of seats in communal elections held in the country on 3 June, according to provisional results announced on Thursday.

"The CNDD-FDD [now a political party] won 1,781 of the total 3,225 seats while FRODEBU [the party of Burundian President Domitien Ndayizeye] gained 820 seats," Paul Ngarambe, the chairman of the National Independent Electoral commission, said at an official ceremony.

Political parties have four days to lodge official complaints to the electoral commission, Ngarambe said.

Final results are expected on 19 June.

The Tutsi-dominated Union pour le progress national, which had been in power since independence in 1962 until now, secured 259 seats.

A break away group of the CNDD-FDD, the Conseil national pour la défense de la démocratie, won 134 seats.

The communal poll was the first in a series of elections set to bring democracy to Burundi, which has experienced civil war since 1993. The war pitted the minority Tutsi-dominated army and several majority-Hutu rebel groups, and has claimed at least 300,000 civilian lives and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

On 29 July, the newly-elected councillors are to select the senators for the country's upper house. Then, on 19 August, they, along with lower house assemblymen, who are to be elected on 4 July, will choose the country's president.

Theme (s): Governance,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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