World

Amid outside threats to cut aid, Burundi's government urges citizens to donate for elections

  • A man who was beaten with an iron bar by Imbonerakure pro-government youth militia because he was mistakenly thought to be an opposition demonstrator, is carried to an ambulance in the Mutarakura district of the capital Bujumbura, Burundi Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Burundi’s government is asking Burundians to donate money to pay for elections as some foreign donors warn of aid cuts if President Pierre Nkurunziza runs for a third term. (AP Photo/Gildas Ngingo)

    A man who was beaten with an iron bar by Imbonerakure pro-government youth militia because he was mistakenly thought to be an opposition demonstrator, is carried to an ambulance in the Mutarakura district of the capital Bujumbura, Burundi Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Burundi’s government is asking Burundians to donate money to pay for elections as some foreign donors warn of aid cuts if President Pierre Nkurunziza runs for a third term. (AP Photo/Gildas Ngingo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Opposition demonstrators hold branches as a peace symbol as they confront army soldiers in the Mutarakura district, as security forces try to prevent people moving out of their neighborhoods, in the capital Bujumbura, Burundi Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Burundi’s government is asking Burundians to donate money to pay for elections as some foreign donors warn of aid cuts if President Pierre Nkurunziza runs for a third term. (AP Photo/Gildas Ngingo)

    Opposition demonstrators hold branches as a peace symbol as they confront army soldiers in the Mutarakura district, as security forces try to prevent people moving out of their neighborhoods, in the capital Bujumbura, Burundi Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Burundi’s government is asking Burundians to donate money to pay for elections as some foreign donors warn of aid cuts if President Pierre Nkurunziza runs for a third term. (AP Photo/Gildas Ngingo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Opposition demonstrators confront army soldiers in the Mutarakura district, as security forces try to prevent people moving out of their neighborhoods, in the capital Bujumbura, Burundi Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Burundi’s government is asking Burundians to donate money to pay for elections as some foreign donors warn of aid cuts if President Pierre Nkurunziza runs for a third term. (AP Photo/Gildas Ngingo)

    Opposition demonstrators confront army soldiers in the Mutarakura district, as security forces try to prevent people moving out of their neighborhoods, in the capital Bujumbura, Burundi Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Burundi’s government is asking Burundians to donate money to pay for elections as some foreign donors warn of aid cuts if President Pierre Nkurunziza runs for a third term. (AP Photo/Gildas Ngingo)  (The Associated Press)

Burundi's government is asking Burundians to donate money to pay for elections as some foreign donors warn of aid cuts if President Pierre Nkurunziza runs for third term.

Presidential spokesman Gervais Abayeho told The Associated Press on Wednesday that "a political vacuum in this country ... would be worse that a coup d'état," and that elections will happen whether or not Western governments help. He said the government has already set aside 25 million euros for the June 26 elections but needs Burundians to give more so the elections can proceed as planned.

Belgium has already cut funding to Burundi amid political unrest, and Abayeho said France and the Netherlands have also indicated some aid will be suspended if Nkurunziza persists with his controversial bid for a third term.