BUJUMBURA, Burundi — Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza on Wednesday signed a decree to postpone parliamentary elections for a week from May 26 until early June, as police battled with hundreds of protesters wounding at least one person in continuing unrest over the president's bid for a third term in office.
The parliamentary elections will be held on June 6, Willy Nyamitwe, the presidential adviser for media, told The Associated Press
Nkurunziza's decision to delay the elections followed requests from the electoral commission, opposition politicians and the international community, said Nyamitwe.
The postponement comes after a failed coup last week which was triggered by weeks of unrest over Nkurunziza's effort to extend his time in power.
Police were back on the streets Wednesday battling protesters, who have continued to demonstrate despite Nkrurunziza's order for an end to the street actions. At least 15 protesters have died since the protests began more than three weeks ago when the ruling party announced Nkurunzinza would stand for another term.
On Wednesday police shot tear gas canisters and live bullets, some from belted machine guns, mostly in the air, in the unrest hotspot of Musaga, a neighborhood of the capital, Bujumbura. Army personnel remained in the area did not intervene.
A protester who identified himself only as Ndayisaba said he was shot in his leg.
"I was in the frontline of the protests and then felt something warm trickling down my leg and I realized I had been shot," he said while being treated in a local clinic.
Honirine Irakoze said her 20-month-old child became choked from police tear gas. Police chasing stone-throwing protesters shot tear gas which went into her house, she said.
Protesters say Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in the June 26 presidential election is illegal because the constitution only allows two five-year terms.
Burundi's Constitution states a president can be popularly elected to two five-year terms. Nkurunziza maintains he can run for a third term because parliament elected him for his first one.