Burkina Faso

African Presidents Have Significant Experience with Election “Rigging”

African Presidents Have Significant Experience with Election “Rigging”

American presidential candidate Donald Trump has made several public statements accusing politicians at the federal and state levels of “rigging” the current elections. He declared that the entire system, at every level, is being manipulated to deny him the presidency. So far, as of November 6, 2016, he has not yet supplied any evidence to support his accusation.

In sub-Saharan Africa, incumbent heads of state have developed the high art of rigging elections over several decades of practical experience.

Read More

Will US punish African presidents who change constitutions?

The United States is warning African leaders not to change their constitutions to eliminate two-term limits for heads of state.  It is not apparent that they are taking the warnings seriously.

Many African heads of state are subject to constitutional two-term limits, similar to the situation in the United States.  As they approach the end of their mandates, a number of leaders want to change their national constitutions to eliminate the two-term limit so that they can continue to run for election and remain in power indefinitely.

Read More

African Governance is Still Problematic

Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese billionaire who keeps track of the state of governance in Africa, has issued his annual report. He continues to report very little progress in democracy in most African countries.

Ibrahim’s gloomy outlook for African democracy is particularly relevant this year and next because of the large number of elections that are scheduled. Unfortunately, in many of the elections, incumbent heads of state are attempting to revise their constitutions that limit presidential mandates to two terms. Needless to say, these actions are causing major unhappiness among the populations.

Read More

Military Coup in Burkina Faso


The elite Burkina Faso military unit that was formerly the Presidential Guard has executed a coup d’état. The transitional regime that came to power in October 2014 after the hasty departure of former President Blaise Compaoré, has been overthrown. The new head of state is General Gilbert Diendiere, the former Chief of Staff of the army under Compaoré. Both the United Nations and the African Union have condemned the military takeover. 

The interim regime was in the process of organizing new elections. The political party of former President Blaise Compaoré was declared ineligible to participate in the election along with anyone who had been associated with Compaoré’s rule. It was probably this decision that precipitated the coup. 

Read More

Regime Change in Burkina Faso: Implications for Sub-Saharan Africa

A political upheaval in the Republic of Burkina Faso during a three-day period, October 29-31, 2014, resulted in the premature departure of President Blaise Compaore who had been head of state since 1987. What triggered the mass movement of over a hundred thousand protesters in the streets of the capital city Ouagadougou was Compaore’s attempt to amend the constitution to eliminate the two-term limit on the presidential mandate. He wanted to run for a third term, and the population was fed up with his long misrule. The mob burned down the parliament to prevent the enactment of the constitutional change, and then forced the President to flee for his life in a French military helicopter. It was notable that the Burkina military, especially the elite presidential guard, did not defend the president against the protesters.

Read More

Burkina Faso: Analysis of the New Regime

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore has departed for good. He was ex-filtrated from Ouagadougou by French security to Yamassoukrou, Côte d’Ivoire.  According to press reports, he is now in Morocco.

After a consultation among political opposition, the military, and civil society, the people of Burkina have decided on a transitional government. The transitional president is Michel Kafando, a distinguished retired diplomat.  The prime minister will be Lt. Colonel Isaac Zida, the second in command of the presidential guard.

Read More

Burkina Faso Regime Change

REGIME CHANGE IN BURKINA FASO:  State Department: Please do not designate the change as a “military coup”.

Massive demonstrations in Ouagadougou, the capital city of the West African Republic of Burkina Faso on October 30, 2014, resulted in the resignation of President Blaise Compaore.  As of November 1, Compaore was in Côte d’Ivoire where he has been granted asylum.

Simultaneously with Compaore’s resignation and flight, the Burkinabe Army announced that it was taking power for a transitional period, with the promise that they will relinquish power after a democratic election for a new head of state.

Read More