Photo Credit: AP Photo/Berthier Mugiraneza

Ruling party candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye has won Burundi’s presidential election by a landslide.

The Independent Election Commission (CENI) announced partial results Monday, giving Ndayishimiye 69% of the vote and his chief competitor, Agathon Rwasa of the opposition CNL party, 24%.

Current First Vice President Gaston Sindimwo of the nationalist party, Uprona finished far behind with just 2%.

Born in Gitega Province, the same region as President Nkurunziza, Ndayishimiye has been serving as Secretary General of CNDD-FDD since 2016.

Ndayishimiye is an early recruit of CNDD FDD army wing, which was founded in 1994. He served in various positions in the Burundian army including Chief of Military Logistics, Military Assistant to Nkurunziza and Minister of Interior.

Ndayishimiye was picked by the governing CNDD-FDD party to succeed outgoing President Pierre Nkurunziza, whose controversial decision to seek a third term in the last election in 2015 sparked mass unrest, violence and an opposition boycott.

With 87.7 percent of registered voters turning out to cast their ballots in last week’s elections, commission chairman Pierre Claver Kazihise described the turnout as “massive” and said the polling was peaceful.

The presidential election which was contested by seven presidential hopefuls, is meant to usher in the first democratic transfer of power in Burundi’s 58 years of independence.