Friday, September 11

Burkina Faso bars ex-ministers from presidential poll

Burkina Faso has barred its former Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Sport from contesting next month’s presidential election.

It banned the ministers because they had backed ex-President Blaise Compaore’s failed bid to cling to power last year.

The Constitutional Council which ruled against the former ministers on Thursday based its decision on an April revision of the electoral law that excluded any candidate who supported Compaore’s effort to extend his rule.

The council’s decision followed complains from three other candidates that the men took part in Oct. 21, 2014 cabinet meeting to draft a law that would have removed a term limit from Burkina’s constitution.

Attempts to pass that law in parliament led to massive street demonstrations on Oct. 30, 2014, which toppled Compaore from power.
Former Prime Minister Roch Kabore, a long-time stalwart of Compaore’s government who split away last year to found the opposition People’s Movement for Progress (MPP), is widely regarded as a front-runner for the vote, alongside former Finance Minister Zephirin Diabre.

Meanwhile, the regional court for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has ruled that the change to the electoral law contravened democratic rights, but Burkina Faso’s constitutional council has ignored its ruling.

While ECOWAS is the highest appeal tribunal in the region, it lacks the power to enforce its decisions.

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