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Burundi restores Prime Minister post, MPs endorse new veep

Burundi’s national assembly on Tuesday (June 23) approved the nomination of Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni as prime minister.

A new vice-president has also been appointed by lawmakers. Both men have since been sworn in by president Evariste Ndayishimiye, the presidency reported on Wednesday.

Read more – Bikes, balls, boots with Nkurunziza: Burundi’s sportsman president

Bunyoni becomes the first person to be named premier in 22 years. The post has been restored by President Ndayishimiye, who was sworn into office last week.

The one-time head of national police last held the portfolio of minister of public security. Bunyoni, has been under sanctions by the United States since 2015 for his alleged role in political repression.

His appointment was backed by a big majority from the ruling party which also dominates the parliament. The opposition boycotted proceedings.

Prosper Bazombanza was also approved by the national assembly as Vice president. Pascal Nyabenda, President of the National Assembly announced the election of the VP: “In the name of the National Assembly of the Republic of Burundi, we approve the election of Prosper Bazombanza as Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi.”

The 60-year-old has served as vice-president before – under deceased president Pierre Nkurunziza between 2014 and 2015. He replaces Nkurunziza’s last VP, Gaston Sindimwo.

These appointments are the first key moves by president Ndayishimiye, whose investiture was moved forward from August to last week following the sudden death of president Pierre Nkurunziza on June 8.