Burundi’s Constitutional Court has ruled that President-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye should be sworn in as soon as possible as the next head of state.
No-one has so far been appointed to replace President Pierre Nkurunziza who died suddenly on Monday.
Constitutionally, the speaker of parliament, Pascal Nyabenda, should have become the interim leader.
But the cabinet decided to refer to the court and now Mr Ndayishimiye is due to become president two months early.
He was elected in May to replace President Nkurunziza, who had been in power for 15 years.
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After a change in the constitution, Mr Nkurunziza had been able to run for a further term in last month’s election but decided to retire and was to be known as the “supreme guide to patriotism”.
The government said that he died on Monday of a cardiac arrest after being taken ill on Saturday evening.