Burkina army, civil groups agree transition pact

Burkina army, civil groups agree transition pact

Friday, November 14, 2014 12:12 am

Colonel Zida welcomes Diabre and pro-democracy team

Colonel Zida welcomes Diabre and pro-democracy team

Burkina Faso’s army on Thursday reached an agreement with opposition parties, civil groups and religious leaders for a transition to civilian rule, almost two weeks after the ouster of president Blaise Compaore.

The different factions “unanimously voted” in favour of a transition charter, said Henry Ye, president of the commission representing the main power players in the west African country.

Under the deal, an interim civilian president will be chosen by a special electoral college, delegates at the talks said.

The president will appoint a prime minister, either a civilian or a military figure, who will head a 25-member transitional government.

A civilian will also head a 90-seat parliament, known as the National Transitional Council.

Compaore was forced to quit on October 31, after mass protests against his bid to extend his 27-year rule by changing the constitution.

The army installed Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Zida, the 49-year-old second-in-command of the presidential guard, as the new leader of the landlocked nation of some 17 million people.

But the military has faced mounting international pressure to transfer power to an interim government.

The African Union on November 3 pressed the Burkinabe army to return power to civilians within two weeks or face sanctions.

“We have made a number of concessions taking into account the interests of Burkina,” Zida told AFP earlier Thursday.

According to a draft of the transition blueprint, no members of the interim regime would be allowed to stand in the next elections, scheduled for November 2015.

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