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Burundi’s ex-cop vying to become Greece’s first black MP

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Former Burundian policeman Spiros Richard Hagabimana is seeking to become the first black member of parliament in Greece, a country where immigrants rarely hold public office.

He is a candidate in the southeastern constituency of Piraeus II under the conservative New Democracy party, in the May 21 election.

“Piraeus is where I studied, learned my first Greek words, worked and lived. Thanks to this place, I learned to love Greece,” read one of the posters on Twitter. The poll of Mr. He doesn’t fight.

The 54-year-old told Reuters how, as a police officer, he was jailed in Burundi in 2015 for refusing to shoot anti-government protesters.

A photo file of Spiros Richard

He was later released from prison with the help of Greek authorities and returned to Athens in 2016.

Mr. Hagabimana first arrived in Greece in 1991 on a scholarship to study at the Naval Academy. He graduated in 1996 but had to seek asylum in Greece as Burundi was in a military coup at the time, Reuters reports.

He obtained Greek citizenship in 2005 and the same year he returned to Burundi for peacekeeping efforts with the United Nations.

He says the color of his skin should not be a major factor in the next election.

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