Burkina Faso: Party of ousted president picks new candidate

AP News
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Posted: Jul 11, 2015 1:20 PM

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Burkina Faso's ruling party on Saturday nominated a former lawmaker as its presidential candidate in a vote scheduled for October, one year after a popular uprising forced longtime President Blaise Compaore to resign and flee the country.

Eddie Comboigo, an accountant, accepted the nomination Saturday at a packed stadium in the capital, Ouagadougou. During his speech, he asked for a standing ovation for Compaore, whom he credited with having set Burkina Faso on a path to modernity during his 27 years in office despite widespread complaints about corruption and misrule.

"I will be the candidate of the youth, the elders, the women and all generations," Comboigo said. "We are still the majority in this country."

At least 10 politicians have so far declared their candidacy for the October vote. A new electoral law says anyone who supported Compaore's bid to stay in office cannot stand in the election, though the party has filed a complaint against transitional authorities over the code with a West African regional court.

Addressing his supporters, Comboigo on Saturday also asked for prayers for peace in Burkina Faso, which the head of the transition said in a brief statement Friday night was on the brink of "chaos and disorder."

A chief source of tension is an ongoing dispute between transition officials and the elite Presidential Security Regiment, which has called for the resignation of the prime minister — a former second-in-command of the unit — and three ministers.

Michel Kafando, the transition president, said any "adventurers" looking to disrupt the transition process could face international courts.

A new body that includes traditional and religious leaders has been set up to try to facilitate dialogue between military officials and leaders in the transitional government.