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Politics of Burkina Faso

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Title: Politics of Burkina Faso  
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Subject: Constitution of Burkina Faso, Foreign relations of Burkina Faso, Index of Burkina Faso-related articles, Sankarism, African Democratic Rally (Burkina Faso)
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Politics of Burkina Faso

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Burkina Faso

The Politics of Burkina Faso takes place in a framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President of Burkina Faso is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The party system is dominated by the Congress for Democracy and Progress. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Political history

President Blaise Compaoré ruled Burkina Faso from a coup d'état in 1987 to his resignation in 2014.

In 1990, the Popular Front held its first National Congress, which formed a committee to draft a national constitution. The constitution was approved by referendum in 1991. In 1992, Blaise Compaoré was elected president, running unopposed after the opposition boycotted the election because of Compaoré's refusal to accede to demands of the opposition such as a sovereign National Conference to set modalities. The opposition did participate in the following year's legislative elections, in which the ODP/MT won a majority of seats.

The government of the Fourth Republic includes a strong presidency, a prime minister, a Council of Ministers presided over by the president, a two-chamber National Assembly, and the judiciary. The legislature and judiciary are independent but remain susceptible to outside influence.

In 1995, Burkina held its first multiparty municipal elections since independence. The president's ODP/MT won over 1,100 of some 1,700 councillor seats being contested.

In February 1996, the ruling ODP/MT merged with several small opposition parties to form the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP). This effectively co-opted much of what little viable opposition to Compaoré existed. The remaining opposition parties regrouped in preparation for 1997 legislative elections and the 1998 presidential election. The 1997 legislative elections, which international observers pronounced to be substantially free, fair, and transparent, resulted in a large CDP majority—101 to 111 seats.


Actual prime minister Tertius Zongo

Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
Acting President Michel Kafando Independent 19 November 2014
Acting Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida Independent 19 November 2014

The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and may serve up to two terms. The prime minister is appointed by the president with the consent of the legislature. The constitution of June 2, 1991, established a semi-presidential government with a parliament (Assemblée) which can be dissolved by the President of the Republic, who is elected for a term of 5 years. The year 2000 saw a constitutional amendment reducing the presidential term from 7 to 5 years, which was enforced during the 2005 elections. Another change according to the amendment would have prevented sitting president Blaise Compaoré from being re-elected. However, notwithstanding a challenge by other presidential candidates, in October 2005, the constitutional council ruled that because Compaoré was already a sitting president in 2000, the amendment would not apply to him until the end of his second term in office, thereby clearing the way for his candidacy in the 2005 election. On November 13 Compaoré was reelected in a landslide due to a divided political opposition.

Compaoré was deposed on 31 October 2014, as a result of the 2014 Burkinabé uprising, with Isaac Zida assuming the position of Head of State in an acting capacity.

Members of the Regiment of Presidential Security launched a coup on 16 September 2015, detaining President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida. On 17 September, Gilbert Diendéré was appointed as Chairman of the National Council for Democracy, the new military junta.

Legislative branch

The National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) has 111 members, elected for a five-year term by proportional representation.

Political parties and elections

Political pressure groups

National Organization of Free Unions (ONSL); watchdog/political action groups throughout the country in both organizations and communities

Administrative divisions

Burkina Faso is divided into 13 regions and 45 provinces:



International organization participation


International relationships

The ambassador of Burkina Faso to Canada is Juliette Bonkoungou.

The ambassador of Burkina Faso to Mexico is Jonathan Hodgson

The former ambassador of Burkina Faso to the United States was Tertius Zongo, he left his post when appointed Prime Minister in July 2007; the US Ambassador to Burkina Faso is Jeanine Jackson.

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