, JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 18 – Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday urged Burundi to delay parliamentary and presidential elections in the wake of a failed coup against President Pierre Nkurunziza.
“What we call for as a region first and foremost, it is necessary that the elections be postponed but within the constitutionally allowed mandate of the current government,” Kenyatta told South Africa’s public broadcaster SABC during a visit.
The delay would allow regional leaders time “to work together with all parties to see how we can get to a situation where we can get an amicable solution that calls for (the) continued peace of Burundi,” said Kenyatta.
Nkurunziza’s bid for a third consecutive term in office has sparked the political crisis in Burundi.
Opposition and rights groups insist that Nkurunziza’s bid is against the constitution and the terms of the peace deal that brought an end to the country’s civil war in 2006.
Tensions have been running high after the failed coup.
Parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place on May 26, and presidential polls on June 26.
The Kenyan leader held talks with President Jacob Zuma on Sunday and addressed the Pan African parliament, the legislative body of the African Union which is housed in South Africa.