News / Africa

Burkina Faso Holds Nationwide Elections

People wait in line to cast their ballots in a polling station in Ouagadougou during Burkina Faso's legislative and municipal elections, December 2, 2012.
People wait in line to cast their ballots in a polling station in Ouagadougou during Burkina Faso's legislative and municipal elections, December 2, 2012.
Peter Tinti
Voters in Burkina Faso lined-up for parliamentary and municipal elections for the first time since anti-government protests in 2011.

One of thousands of candidates laying out his vision for the future of the country this weekend was Francois Compaore, the younger brother of Burkina Faso’s president.

More than 3,000 candidates vied for 127 seats in the National Assembly, and more than 18,000 municipal officials will be elected.

Parliamentary elections take place every five years in Burkina Faso, but in a first for the West African nation, Sunday’s vote was held with municipal elections.  

The National Independent Electoral Commission has introduced a new biometric registration system.  With the support of the U.N. Development Program and European donors, the new system has registered more than four-million new voters, nearly half of them women.

The commission also certified 7,000 domestic and 200 international observers, from organizations like the African Union and the Economic Community of West African states.

Despite efforts to ensure transparency, many opposition parties believe the system unfairly favors sitting President Blaise Compaore, whose Congress for Democracy and Progress holds a majority of National Assembly seats.

Norbert Tiendrebeogo, who leads the Social Forces Front opposition party, said, "We flatter ourselves when we say that this is a democratic process, but it is a biased process." 

In the case of neighboring Mali, he says, it was the same Europeans who had always congratulated Mali who were the first to say that its democracy was actually a façade.  

Tiendrebeogo says everyone knows Burkina Faso is a façade of a democracy even if it is well polished.  He says efforts must be made to go a little bit further in the fight against corruption.

This election is the first since Burkina Faso was rocked by anti-government protests last year, when student riots broke out and soldiers mutinied over unpaid wages.  Shortly after, policeman and teachers joined the protests demanding better pay and working conditions.

President Compaore, who has been in power since 1987, was able to quell the protests by reorganizing his government, arresting protest leaders, and dismissing several-hundred soldiers.

Although Mr. Compaore is not on the ballot this year, political opponents such as Tiendrebeogo see this election as an opportunity to send a message to the ruling party and for opposition parties to gain momentum heading into the presidential elections scheduled for 2015.

He said the opposition does not have the means, but it has the human resources.  He says even though they do not have vehicles, the people came out because they are aware of the need to change Burkina Faso.

Election results are expected to be announced Thursday.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: adams mohamed from: u.s.a
December 03, 2012 10:56 AM
my thoughts goes to our late hero Thomos sankara may his soul rest in peace.and to whom it may concerned . if you live by the sword you die by the sword. SANKARA was a great ruler.AFRICA SHALL BE FREE AND UNITE ONE DAY NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES. STOP THE KILLING OF THE PROPHETS. PEACE IS THE ANSWER.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More