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Burkina Faso President to Run for Another Term

Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore has announced he will run for another term in the November presidential elections. The poll will likely pit Mr. Compaore against more than 10 challengers.

An announcer shouts the name of Burkina Faso's president to a crowd of staunch supporters.

'Blaise Compaore,' he said. And the crowd replied, 'To Power'. 'Blaise Compaore,' he repeated. And this time they shout back, 'In the first round.'

It was at a well-planned rally in his home village of Ziniare Wednesday that Mr. Compaore made the announcement that many here have been expecting for months.

In his speech, Mr. Compaore thanked his supporters for what he called their infinite love for their homeland.

Speaking to journalists after the ceremony, President Compaore said he would have the support of men and women, young and old, all united for the greater development of Burkina Faso.

Mr. Compaore seized power in a military coup 18 years ago and has been in office ever since. He was elected unopposed in elections in 1991 and later reelected in a landslide in 1998.

In the capital Ouagadougou, few people seemed surprised that the 55-year-old president will seek another term.

"To tell the truth, it's not much of a surprise," said one man. "But we had to wait for him to announce," he said.

The length of a presidential term was reduced from seven to five years by constitutional amendment in 2000.

This man says he is willing to give the president more time to try to improve the situation in Burkina Faso.

He says Mr. Compaore needs to prove he can lead the country, if not towards development, at least towards a better life.

The first round of this year's presidential election is due to take place November 16.