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Constitutional Changes Could Extend President's Rule in Burkina Faso

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The ruling party in Burkina Faso has called for changing the constitution so its leader and the country's president, Blaise Compaore, can run for office again in November.  The Congress for Democracy and Progress wants to lift two-term limit so the 59-year-old can again be its candidate for head of state.

Mr. Compaore took power in a coup in 1987 when then-president Thomas Sankara was killed.  When Mr. Compaore was elected as president in 1991, a restriction of two seven-year terms was set, only to be lifted six years later.  President Compaore was re-elected in 1998 and again in 2005.

The current limit of two five-year terms was put in place in 2002 after violent riots occurred following the assassination of a prominent journalist.  The president of the Congress for Democracy and Progress party, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, recently argued that term limits restrict democracy rather than serve it.

Kabore said that all political parties must ensure their candidates are on the ballot, so that is what the Congress for Democracy and Progress is doing.

If the proposed amendment is passed, it would revise Article 37 of the country's constitution and enable Mr. Compaore to run again in 2015 and extend his presidential rule until 2020.

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