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Burkina Faso’s elections, a hope for democratic transition in Africa #elections #burkinafaso #democracy #westafrica

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The majority of Burkina Faso’s population – over 2/3 of the population is under the age of 30 – has never experiences free elections in its country and has always be ruled by long-standing president  Blaise Compaore; but yesterday, for the first time in 27 years, Burkina Faso hosted the most liberal elections since the independence from France in 1960 in the West African country, that’s what Codel said.

The association, an organized group of  35 local civil society associations which gathered to ensure fair elections and reinforce the credibility CENI – the Independent National Electoral Commission – installed about 4,000 people to control that no manipulation of the results is made during the votes cast, while some 25,000 soldiers and police were deployed across the country. The group is also expected to analyze the preliminary results that should be made public today.

After last year protests overthrown Blaise Campeore who attempted to modify national constitution in order to extend his tenure on October 2014, Michel Kafando assumed office as interim President but he did not gain support from former President’s elite guard which staged a failed coup in September this year and caused the election, planned for October, to be postponed.

The new government ­-  that will need more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a run-off – will have to face many challenges but  reforms on education, health and unemployment are the three big priorities.

Both the international community and national civil society hope that the vote will be an example for democratic transition in Africa, where Burundi’s and Congo’s long-standing rulers have recently modified the constitution to extend their term in office.

Valentina CALCAGNO

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