Bujumbura: It was an unusual method of transport, and certainly not what you’d expect a head of state to select. However the humble bicycle was what Burundi’s president Pierre Nkurunziza decided to use to attend the recent national & local elections.
As reported by The Telegraph, Nkurunziza (who is no stranger to controversy and features often in the headlines both at home and abroad) has been under a lot of pressure lately from opposition parties and civil groups at home, and also foreign observers. The African Union apparently refused to send observers to monitor the elections, raising concerns on the validity of the results. Nkurunziza is campaigning for a third term in the top job, and his decision not to step down has been attributed as the main factor behind continued violence in the nation. The results of the poll are due on July 15.
It’s unclear thus far exactly why Nkurunziza opted for bicycle transport, although he was accompanied on foot with armed bodyguards (who presumably also were there to assist the President in the case of a flat tire).