Bujumbura – The facilitator in the Burundian crisis, former Tanzanian President William Benjamin Mkapa said the Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, as well as the 2015 elections, were legitimate. 

Opposition leaders and some civil society activists have repeatedly questioned Nkurunziza's controversial third term following what they called the violation of the Burundi constitution and the Arusha peace Agreement. 

His announcement to run for the third term in office in April 2015, had raised mass protests in the capital Bujumbura. Considered as an insurgency movement by the regime, the civil society activists and the opposition maintained the protests were legitimate and that the president had to step aside. 

However, talking to the reporters at the international airport of Bujumbura on Friday, after the three-day visit in Burundi, Mkapa said there was no reason for the legitimacy of Nkurunziza to be questioned. 

"Legitimacy is lent by Burundians and those who think I am the one that is lending legitimacy, are absolutely out of mind," he said. The 78-year-old added: "Ambassadors come in Burundi and present their credentials to President Nkurunziza. Isn't it a way of recognising him as a President of this country? So what is this foolishness!" 

The facilitator believed that Burundians have been spending a lot of time talking about event that was over. 

"We should rather emphasise on creating conditions that will make such confusion obsolete and rather prepare in 2020 elections that will be free, fair and credible," he said. 

The National Council for the Restoration of the Arusha Accords and the Rule of Law, CNARED, the main opposition coalition made of people in exile, said it didn't believe in the mediation any longer. 

In a statement, it rejected the mediator, Ugandan President Kaguta Museveni and facilitator Mkapa. 

During the media conference, Mkapa had said it was not the time to talk to the people who had been charged with the attempted coup. 

According to his roadmap, the former Tanzanian president plans to start talks in January and conclude them by June at the latest. 

African News Agency