Burkina dismisses election candidates linked to ex-president

President Blaise Compaore
President Blaise Compaore

Burkina Faso’s constitutional council on Saturday dismissed two election candidates close to ousted President Blaise Compaore, but allowed other members of the political old guard to stand.

Compaore was driven out of power last October by street protests after he tried to change the constitution to allow him to extend his 27-year rule. On October 11, the population of the West African country will choose his successor.

This week the same council rendered ineligible more than 40 candidates for the legislative elections on the grounds they had supported “anti-constitutional change damaging to the principle of democratic transition”.

“This ineligibility also applies to the Presidential election on the same date,” the council said in a statement.

Among those disqualified by the decision were Eddie Komboigo, a former member of parliament representing Compaore’s former ruling party the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), and Gilbert Noel Ouedraogo from the Alliance for Democracy and Federation-African Democratic Rally (ADF-RDA).

They were not immediately available for comment on the decision.

However, the council allowed former Compaore ministers to run such as former foreign minister Djibrill Bassole and former finance minister Zephirin Diabre.

Former prime minister Roch Marc Kabore, a long-time stalwart of Compaore’s government who split away last year to found the opposition People’s Movement for Progress (MPP), is also a leading name among the 16 candidates remaining.

A turbulent transitional government changed the electoral law in April to exclude anyone who supported Compaore’s bid to remain in power.

The regional court for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) later overruled the decision, but Burkina Faso’s constitutional council has ignored its ruling.

While ECOWAS is the highest appeal tribunal in the region, it is not clear how it can enforce its decision.

Four other independent presidential candidates were also disallowed on Saturday because they could not pay the 25 million CFA francs ($42,678.14) deposit required to stand.

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