Burkina Faso: President and PM Detained Ahead of Vote

Washington

In response to the September 16 detention of Burkina Faso’s transitional president and prime minister, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The Presidential Guard’s decision to detain key members of the transitional government weeks before the election is a direct threat to Burkina Faso’s transitional process,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs. “It is imperative these officials be released and citizens of Burkina Faso be given the opportunity to peacefully vote for their new government.”

Background:
Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida, a lieutenant colonel in the army, and Interim President Michel Kafando were appointed by the military to organize the October 11, 2015, presidential election after ex-President Blaise Compaore resigned following mass protests against efforts to extend presidential term limits. He had been president for more than two decades. 

Burkina Faso is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2015, and Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2015
 

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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