BUJUMBURA, Burundi —— Burundian opposition parties that boycotted the presidential election rejected the result, which gave Pierre Nkurunziza a third term that opponents say is illegal.

BUJUMBURA, Burundi —— Burundian opposition parties that boycotted the presidential election rejected the result, which gave Pierre Nkurunziza a third term that opponents say is illegal.


A new vote should be held that gives politicians outside the ruling party the room to campaign freely with international observers monitoring the process, said Frederic Bamvuginyumvira, a spokesman for a group of 10 political parties. He said their struggle would continue until new elections are organized, without specifying any plans.


U.S. President Barack Obama also criticized Burundi’s elections, describing them as "not credible."


"We are calling on the government and the opposition to come together in a dialogue that leads to a political solution to the crisis and avoids the loss of more innocent life," Obama said Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya.


Nkurunziza’s decision in April to run again triggered a public backlash and an attempted military coup, which was quickly extinguished. Street demonstrations in the capital, Bujumbura, led to fighting with security forces in which at least 77 people were killed. The violence drove more than 170,000 refugees to neighboring countries.


Opponents say Nkurunziza, 51, is violating a two-term limit set out in a 2005 peace agreement that ended a 12-year civil war. Supporters argue that his first term doesn’t count because he was chosen by parliament rather than by popular vote.


Regional efforts led by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to mediate between the government and opposition groups broke down before the election on July 21.


Agathon Rwasa, an opposition leader who joined other opponents in withdrawing his candidacy to protest a lack of freedom to campaign, came in second with 19 percent of the vote against Nkurunziza’s 69.4 percent. Even after candidates pulled out of the race, their names appeared on the ballot.


The East African nation’s Constitutional Court is expected to review the tally and confirm the result within nine days.


The United Kingdom warned that Burundi risks undoing the gains since the end of the civil war. The authorities in Burundi harassed opposition and civil society members, closed media outlets and intimidated voters before the election, according to the U.S. State Department.


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(Gridneff reported from Nairobi, Kenya.)


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