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Top Burundi official flees on eve of controversial vote

People stand around a cluster of empty cartridges lying on the ground in the Jabe distirct of Bujumbura on June 28, 2015 after a night of intense shooting that saw a young man allegedly killed by policeThe head of Burundi’s parliament on Sunday said he had fled the country on the eve of key elections following weeks of violence, denouncing the president’s “illegal” third term bid. Amid international criticism of the government’s defiant refusal to delay the vote, parliament head Pie Ntavyohanyuma said Sunday he had fled to Belgium due to the violence, criticising President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid to stay in power for a third term. “For the moment, I am forced to stay in Brussels… I stayed here given the difficulties in my country, difficulties which are due to the illegal third mandate of the president,” parliament speaker Pie Ntavyohanyuma told France 24.

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