Burkina Faso. In April, Parliament passed several new electoral laws, including one that at least 30 percent of the political parties’ candidates must be women. The new laws also gave Burkinis foreign citizens the right to vote and clarified the rules that an opposition leader should be elected after elections. In addition, all parties with at least three percent of the votes in the previous election must receive state support for their election campaigns. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for abbreviation BF which stands for the nation of Burkina Faso.
Following a government decision, the authorities began issuing a free birth certificate in May. The comprehensive program, supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF, was expected to provide five million burkinis with the important documents that were too expensive for many in the past. According to countryaah, proof of birth is required to, among other things, be able to go to school, get access to care and to vote. Children without a birth certificate are at greater risk of being subjected to trafficking and child marriage. One third of the country’s three million children lacked a birth certificate when the program started.
Flooding as a result of the strongest rainfall since 1919 resulted in at least five dead and 150,000 homeless people in early September. The worst hit was the capital Ouagadougou, where even the largest university hospital was flooded and forced to evacuate its patients.
Compaoré, president of the BF Republic, born from the 1987 coup that put an end to the revolutionary government of T. Sankara, despite some democratic initiatives adopted during the 1990s, such as the introduction of a multi-party system, did not the military and essentially authoritarian nature of his regime changed. Defeating the Marxist principles of his predecessor, Compaoré opened the BF to foreign investment and introduced a series of privatization and liberalization measures of the economy in line with the directives of the International Monetary Fund. The improvement in the financial situation, recorded since 1995, however, was not accompanied by a significant decrease in the high unemployment rate. This fueled, in the second half of the decade, a movement in opposition to the regime, which however failed to find an adequate voice in the representative institutions firmly controlled by the presidential power.
The new Constitution, approved by a popular referendum in June 1991 (in which 49 % of the electorate took part) formally opened the ‘fourth republic’ defined as a ‘revolutionary, democratic, unitary and secular state’. The executive power was entrusted to the government and the president, elected by universal suffrage for a term of seven years, while the legislative power was vested in a multi-party parliament, the Assemblée des députés populaires (ADP) of 107 members, increased to 111 in 1996. always elected by universal suffrage.
The presidential elections of December 1991 were boycotted by the opposition (which in vain had asked for the convocation of a constituent assembly) and by most of the voters and were therefore won by Compaoré who postponed the legislative elections indefinitely. These finally took place in May 1992 and, with a participation rate of 35 % of the electoral body, saw the clear affirmation of the Organization pour la démocratie populaire-Mouvement du travail (ODP-MT), the party of the president, which obtained 78 seats out of 107 in the ADP and which led to the establishment of a coalition government dominated by the ODP-MT.
The difficulties encountered by the government in coping with the devaluation of the CFA franc (the franc of the community of francophone countries), in January 1994, led Compaoré to appoint MCR Kaboré, former secretary general of the ODP-MT, prime minister, whose measures to mitigate the consequences of the rise in prices were, however, considered inadequate by the unions who promoted a three-day general strike in April.
After securing victory in the local elections of February 1995 – boycotted by the opposition and in which 10 % of those entitled to participate – in February 1996 the ODP-MT joined, together with 10 other parties, the Congrès pour la démocratie et le progrès, a new political grouping favorable to Compaoré of which A. Bognessan Yè and Kaboré respectively became president and vice-president. The latter left the post of head of government to KD Ouédraogo, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of West African States, but obtained the post of adviser to the presidency of the Republic. With the legislative elections of May 1997the Compaoré movement, which two months earlier had managed to get a constitutional amendment to be voted on to remove any limit to the number of presidential mandates, secured 101 seats out of 111, while the main opposition party, the Parti pour la démocratie et le progrès, led by J. Kizerbo, got 6. In November 1998 the presidential elections were held which were won by Compaoré with about 88 % of the votes, but whose correctness was harshly contested by all the opposition forces.
In the international context, the Compaoré coup had temporarily cooled relations with Ghana, the Republic of Congo and Gabon, while relations with Mitterrand’s France remained cordial, which also had close ties with the Sankara regime.. The role of mediator in the regional conflicts that Compaoré had successfully assumed in the case of the conflict between the governments of Mali and Niger on the one hand, and the Tuareg on the other (tens of thousands of refugees in BF during the 1990s), was encountered serious difficulties during the conflict in Liberia in those years, albeit with the Abuja peace agreement of May 1995 the BF had agreed to participate in Ecomog, the African interposition force to end the civil war in Liberia.