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Polling stations in Burundi were opened at 06:00 local time on Wednesday and about 5 million people are expected to participate.

The elections are held amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

Voters will be electing their President, Members of Parliament and communal council members.

The incumbent, Pierre Nkurunziza is stepping down after 15 years, but with the state-funded private housing, a lifetime salary and an official title.

7 candidates are seeking to replace the outgoing President Pierre Nkurunziza, with the main contenders being Evariste Ndayishimiye of the ruling CNDD-FDD party and Agathon Rwasa of the opposition CNL party.

Under the new constitution, the winner will now serve an extended seven-year term, renewable once.

Voters in the diaspora will not cast their ballot because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The voting stations will be closed at 16:00 local time.

The body in charge of the electoral process in Burundi had announced that 53 international observers from the embassies of Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, China, South Africa, Russia, DR Congo, and Nigeria will be involved.

The commission banned use of mobile phones and cameras by observers and agents in the polling stations.

Source: BBC News

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