BUJUMBURA — Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has been re-elected with 91.62 percent of the vote, following polls on Monday in which he was the only candidate, the electoral commission said Wednesday.
"At national level the candidate is elected by 91.62 percent. These figures will be sent to the constitutional court that will proclaim the final results," electoral commission head Pierre Claver Ndayicariye said.
Turnout was 76.98 percent, he told journalists.
Nkurunziza remained as sole candidate after opposition figures pulled out of the race to protest what they said was massive fraud by the ruling party in the May 24 local elections.
The local polls were the first step in an electoral marathon that will finish in September.
The parties that withdrew from the presidential poll are also boycotting the next step, the legislative elections set for July 23.
European Union election monitors on Wednesday deplored the absence of competition in the presidential poll.
"The mission deplores the absence of multi-party competition," Renate Weber, the Euro MP heading the team told journalists.
The EU observers nevertheless said that "despite a tense and sometimes violent context, the Burundian people were able to exercise their right to vote".
Agathon Rwasa, the most prominent among the opposition candidates who withdrew, and the biggest potential challenger to the outgoing president Pierre Nkurunziza, went into hiding a week ago.
Rwasa, who heads the Hutu National Liberation Forces (FNL), has accused government security forces of trying to hunt him down.
Rwasa -- who according to a Burundian security official is believed to have crossed into the east of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo with the help of local militia -- has circulated a recorded statement from an undiclosed hiding place.
"They're looking for me because I told the truth, because I said publicly that I don't accept the results of the local elections," Rwasa said in an audio cassette that his entourage said Tuesday night was authentic.
Burundi's police have said they had never intended to arrest him but Rwasa rejected their claim.
"If they say they weren't after me, how come they put more than 35 secret service agents on my track in Uvira because they thought that's where I was," Rwasa said, referring to a border town in DR Congo.
The ex-rebel chief did not say what his projects for the future are.
Burundi has struggled to emerge from more than a decade of civil war and reports of Rwasa's crossing into DR Congo have kindled fears he might go back into the bush.
But Rwasa urged the Burundi government and the electoral commission to "come to their senses" and asked opposition parties to remain united.
At least 12 people have been killed and more than 60 injured in a series of grenade attacks and violent incidents since the local elections.
The latest incident, which left two dead, took place in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday to the south of the capital Bujumbura.
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