Burundi on Thursday convened an extraordinary cabinet meeting to discuss the way forward after the sudden death of long-serving leader, Pierre Nkurunziza.
The government called a ministerial meeting to discuss “the management of the situation following the unexpected death” of Nkurunziza, who according to the government died of a heart attack after feeling unwell for two days.
His death left many anxious over the future of the country. Nkurunziza, who died on Monday aged 55, had been due to step down in August after his surprise decision not to run in an election last month won by the ruling party’s successor.
But his death has raised uncertainty and fears of a power struggle in a country that has witnessed violent political upheaval, a refugee exodus and a bloody civil war in its recent history.
Under the constitution, the president of the National Assembly, Pascal Nyabenda, should take over on an interim basis before president-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye’s swearing-in in August.
The path forward will be determined by the Constitutional Court to which the cabinet has turned for interpretation of transition laws.