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World > Africa > Burkina Faso > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Burkina Faso - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
With Compaore alone at the helm, a democratic constitution was approved by referendum in 1991. In December 1991, Compaore was elected President, running unopposed after the opposition boycotted the election. The opposition did participate in the following year's legislative elections, in which the ruling party won a majority of seats.

The government of the Fourth Republic includes a strong presidency, a prime minister, a Council of Ministers presided over by the president, a unicameral National Assembly, and the judiciary. The legislature and judiciary are nominally independent but remain susceptible to executive influence.

Burkina held multiparty municipal elections in 1995 and 2000 and legislative elections in 1997 and 2002. Balloting was considered largely free and fair in all elections. The Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), the governing party, won overwhelming majorities in all the elections until the 2002 legislative election, where the CDP won with a small majority of the 111 seats. The opposition made large gains in the 2002 elections. Elections were held again in May 2007.

Compaore won the November 1998 presidential election for a second 7-year term against two minor-party candidates. But within weeks of Compaore's victory the domestic opposition took to the streets to protest the December 13, 1998 murder of leading independent journalist Norbert Zongo, whose investigations of the death of the President's brother's chauffeur suggested involvement of the Compaore family.

The opposition Collective Against Impunity--led by human rights activist Halidou Ouedraogo and including opposition political parties of Prof. Joseph Ki-Zerbo and (for a while) Hermann Yameogo, son of the first President--challenged Compaore and his government to bring Zongo's murderers to justice and make political reforms. The Zongo killings still resonate in Burkina politics, though not as strongly as in the past. There has been no significant progress on the investigation of the case.

Compaore was re-elected to the presidency for a 5-year term in November 2005. The current cabinet is dominated by Compaore and the CDP. Given the fragile roots of democratic institutions, constitutional checks and balances are seldom effective in practice. The constitution was amended in 2000 to limit the president to a 5-year term, renewable once, beginning with the November 2005 election. The amendment is controversial because it did not make any mention of retroactivity, meaning that President Compaore's eligibility to present himself for the 2005 presidential election is a matter of debate. The Constitutional Court ruled in October 2005 that the amendment was not retroactive, and Compaore went on to win the November 2005 presidential election with over 80% of the vote. International and national electoral observers mostly believed that the election was fair.

Principal Government Officials
President--Blaise Compaore
Prime Minister--Tertius Zongo

Ministers
Economy and Development--Seydou Bouda
Foreign Affairs--Youssouf Ouedraogo
Justice--Boureima Badini
Defense--Yero Boly
Security--Djibril Yipene Bassole
Territorial Administration and Decentralization--Moumouni Fabre
Commerce, Enterprise Promotion and Handicrafts--Benoit Outtara
Mines and Energy--Abdoulaye Abdoulkader Cisse
Higher Education and Scientific Research--Laya Sawadogo
Information--Joseph Kahoun
Basic Education and Mass Literacy--Mathieu Ouedraogo
Infrastructure, Housing and Transport--Hippolyte Lingani
Civil Service and Institutional Development--Lassane Sawadogo
Employment, Labor, and Social Security--Alain Ludovic Tou
Agriculture, Water, and Water Resources--Salif Diallo
Environment and Standard of Living--Laurent Sedogo
Regional Cooperation--Jean de Dieu Somda
Parliamentary Relations--Adama Fofana
Communications and Culture--Kilimite Theodore Hien
Health--Bedouma Alain Yoda
Sports and Leisure--Tioundoun Sessouma
Transport and Tourism--Salvador Yameogo
Telecommunications and Post--Justin Tieba Thiombiano
Arts, Culture, and Tourism--Mahamoudou Ouedraogo
Social and Family Affairs--Mariam Lamizana
Animal Resources--Alphonse Bonou
Human Rights Promotion--Monique Ilboudo
Women's Affairs--Gisele Guigma

Ambassador to the United States--vacant

Burkina Faso maintains an embassy in the United States at 2340 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-332-5577).

Next Elections Scheduled
Presidential elections--November 2010.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - CFA Franc BCEAO Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
CFA Franc BCEAO Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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