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Nkurunziza, Pierre

Pierre Nkurunziza, the former leader of the Hutu rebel group Forces for the Defense of Democracy (FDD), was elected president of Burundi on Aug. 19, 2005. Formally sworn into office on August 25, he became the country's first democratically elected president since civil war broke out in Burundi between Hutu rebel groups and the Tutsi-dominated army following the assassination of Pres. Melchior Ndadaye, a Hutu, in 1993. Nkurunziza succeeded interim Pres. Domitien Ndayizeye, who had taken office in 2003 as part of a power-sharing agreement between the majority Hutu and the minority Tutsi people. After leading the FDD to a decisive victory in the parliamentary elections of July 2005, Nkurunziza accepted the FDD's presidential nomination. In the ensuing vote by members of Parliament to determine the new president, he won 151 of the 162 ballots cast.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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