BUJUMBURA, Burundi – The Catholic Church in Burundi says it no longer supports the government's decision to hold elections next month amid political unrest over President Pierre Nkurunziza's third term.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi said in a statement Thursday that they were withdrawing from an earlier agreement with the government that would have seen priests monitoring elections across the country. Parliamentary elections are set for June 5, and presidential elections for June 26.
The government says elections must go ahead because a postponement would create a dangerous political vacuum.
Critics say the political environment is too unstable to hold elections, with almost daily street demonstrations in the nation's capital, Bujumbura.
In their statement Thursday, the Catholic bishops said they can't condone elections that are "full of gaps."