Opposition march in #Burkina Faso set for September 29

The leader of the political opposition in Burkina Faso, Zéphérin Diabré, has called for a march of protest on 29 September against what the opposition characterizes as the failed policies of the presidency of Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, at the 2 year midpoint of MPP’s control over presidency and government. The next elections are set for 2020.

The local newspapers published the declaration of the opposition. After noting that for the first two years they have tried to be a “loyal opposition” and work within government, and feeling dismissed by the MPP, they have decided to be more forthright in their opposition. Here are their main points of difference with the MPP, as enumerated in the declaration.

  1. Terrorism continues to grow and the government seemingly has no coherent strategy and has appointed incompetent people to important positions.
  2. Standards of living are declining and misery is spreading.
  3. Housing is in crisis, especially in the peripheries of large towns where speculators are driving up prices and the government is not moving fast to regulate and distribute parcels to those who need them. Instead, the opposition charges, government seems more intent of taking away the villas of old regime Compaoré regime members and distributing them to the new insiders.
  4. Youth and women have been neglected. opposition says MPP promised all sorts of jobs and easy loans for these economically marginal groups.
  5. Corruption continues. The opposition signals a reform in public procurement known as PPP where expedited procedures can be used to approve purchases.
  6. Justice has been instrumentalized to favor the MPP and persecute adversaries.
  7. Fundamental liberties are being threatened. Opposition charges that the MPP is taking a harsh stand on the rights of unions to strike, and is accusing opposition figures of “destablisation” and arresting people without real evidence.
  8. Democratic elections are threatened. The opposition accuses the MPP of fostering violence during the municipal elections of 2016, of passing a reform of the CENI without consensus, and of writing policies to diminish opportunities for Burkinabe residing abroad to participate in elections.
  9. Administrative, civil service positions are being politicized. According to the MPP, promotions and appointments to leadership civil service positions are being made according to party membership, not merit.
  10. 10. In Burkina Faso, the word “incivisme” stands for everything from running red lights to grand corruption. The opposition thinks the MPP is contributing to incivisme.
  11. National reconciliation. The opposition thinks the MPP is dividing and fostering enmity rather than reconciliation.
  12. Economic growth. Not good, according to opposition.
  13. Public investment. opposition thinks the government is just recycling old projects and claiming them as their own.

Seems like a reasonable list of political grievances. My own preference would have been for a more positive agenda of clear proposals and priorities. But I’m a social scientist, not a cognitively-biased confirmation-seeking group-affiliating socially-constructed contingent identity-seeking multiply-selved prospective voter.

About mkevane

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