Burkina Faso update – President Compaoré seeks to amend constitution

President Blaise Compaoré, and his political party the CDP (led by Assimi Koanda) announced this week they would seek to amend the Constitution in order to permit President Compaoré to run for another term. Opposition announced big demonstration October 28.  Spontaneous demonstrations singling out “kingmaker” ADF-RDA leader Gilbert Noel Ouedraogo whose party controls enough seats in National Assembly to permit direct amendment of constitution (Blaise will have 3/4 of votes,  as provided for in constitution).  GNO came out and said they would vote with CDP.

Today, October 26, government announces all schools and universities closed for the week.

The brief history: As Army captains, Blaise and his friend Thomas Sankara took power in 1983.  In 1987 Sankara was killed (by Blaise loyalists).  Blaise assumed the presidency.  In 1991 he was elected to a 7 year term- not free and fair elections.  In 1998 he was elected to another term.  After the election, journalist Norbert Zongo is killed, massive demonstrations, Compaoré agrees to amend constitution to have term limits and term of five years, courts rule limits not retroactive.  Blaise elected again in 2005.  Blaise elected again in 2010.  In both cases, opposition weak and divided.  2011 army mutinies and civil disturbances.  Old guard in CDP quits, to oppose amending constitution.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.