Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza died of a heart attack, according to a government statement released June 9, a day after he passed away in a local hospital. He was 55 years.
He had been in power since 2005 and was due to be replaced in August by president-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye, who won the May 20 presidential election.
In this article we take a look at major developments since the death was announced – from presidential condolences to the next steps to be taken for a transition to the post-Nkurunziza era.
Post-Nkurunziza era: Immediate next steps
Government declared a week of mourning following the passing of the president. Announcing the national morning, Nkurunziza’s senior adviser said he was “very much saddened” by his boss’ “untimely death.”
He weighed in on rumours of the cause of death stressing the government disclosure that the President of the Republic and Supreme Guide of Patriotism was “a victim of cardiac arrest.”
With the exit, the Speaker of Burundi’s parliament Pascal Nyabenda is in pole position to take over as interim president till a new president is officially sworn-in, Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday.
A group opposed to the government said the swearing in of the speaker is consistent with the country’s laws.
As of today (June 10) ambassadors and other officials are signing a book of condolence at the Ntare Rushatsi House, the presidential palace located northeast of the former capital Bujumbura.