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

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' 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.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs