Why be opposed to the Senate in Burkina Faso if concern is Article 37 limiting Presidential mandate to two terms?

Burkina Faso made it to The New York Times as President Blaise Compaoré appears to have backed down over implementation of the Senate.

Why be opposed to the Senate in Burkina Faso if concern is Article 37 limiting Presidential mandate to two terms?

Because the Constitution of Burkina Faso (article 164) has been modified so that the provision for modification of the articles of the constitution reflects the new Senate, is the answer.  The constitution can be modified in two ways.  One is through majority vote of parliament and then referendum.  Second way to modify the constitution bypasses the referendum if 3/4 of parliament votes to modify.  Parliament before was just the National Assembly.  After the December 2012 election, CDP (70 seats) and “mouvance presidentielle” partner ADF/RDA (18 seats) enjoyed comfortable majority of the 127 members and likely 3/4 supermajority with a few smaller parties.  But with the Senate, parliament now become the two bodies together, and requirement is for 3/4 of the two together (called the Congress in the modified constitution).  Since the opposition boycotted the Senate elections, all 90 or so members are basically affiliated with CDP.

So now CDP only needs about 70-75 National Assembly members (instead of 95) in order to have the 3/4 supermajority.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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