BUJUMBURA, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Burundi will not acknowledge the new speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) elected recently due to irregularities in the vote, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza said on Friday.
Established in 2001, EALA is an organ of the East African Community (EAC) with a mandate of legislation, representation and oversight. Each of the six member states of EAC including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda contributed nine members to EALA.
"We will not acknowledge the new speaker of EALA that was boycotted by EALA lawmakers from Tanzania and Burundi. The election of the EALA speaker was characterized by irregularities and was unlawful," said Nkurunziza during a live radio program held in the Kayanza town in northern Burundi.
The program was broadcast on local radio stations based in Burundi.
Former Rwandan Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga was elected Speaker of EALA last Tuesday.
The election of the new EALA speaker violated rules and procedures of the EAC and of the EALA, said Nkurunziza. The candidate should have been elected from the member state that comes first in alphabetical order as the leadership of EAC organs is assumed on the rotation basis, he added.
He indicated that after Uganda, which had the latest EALA speaker, it is the turn of Burundi as it comes first considering the alphabetical order.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the current chairperson of EAC Heads of State Summit, had also advised EALA to consider the alphabetical order of countries as it is the procedure, said Nkurunziza.
Burundi has urged explanations on how the election of the EALA speaker took place, he said.
"If we are not convinced, we will file a lawsuit," he said.