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Burundi votes on extending president’s power until 2034

A referendum in Burundi could pave the way for President Nkurunziza to extend his authoritarian rule until 2034.

(The Washington Post) –Burundi’s president joined long lines of voters Thursday in a referendum that could extend his rule until 2034, despite widespread opposition and fears that the country’s years of deadly political turmoil will continue.

“I thank all Burundians who woke up early in the morning to do this noble patriotic gesture,” President Pierre Nkurunziza said after casting his ballot in his home province of Ngonzi.

Nkurunziza had campaigned forcefully for the constitutional changes that include extending the president’s term from five years to seven. That could give him another 14 years in power when his current term expires in 2020.

He is the latest in a number of African leaders who are changing their countries’ constitutions or using other means to stay in office.

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