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Policy Brief on Burkina Faso: - Burkina Faso's Test of Resilience and Democratic Stability – The 2015 Political Dynamics and Drifts

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1. Introduction
With the renaming of Upper Volta to Burkina Faso in 1984, the concept of the “Land of Upright People” set forth a new promise for political stability and economic prosperity. Those hopes and aspirations were amplified with the ushering in of democratic rule over the past 15 years. This is now tested as the country prepares for elections in 2015. On January 18 2014, over 10,000 Burkinabe’s rallied in the nation’s capital, Ouagadougou, and other cities to protest what they consider to be the centralization of political power in the presidency since 1987. Underpinning the protests were allegations of moves by the President to alter the current constitutional provisions (particularly article 37) in order to contest elections in 2015 when his tenure would be ending. This provision, incorporated in 2000, limits the president to two five-year terms. Although President Compaore has issued no official statement nor made any comments concerning his intention to seek another term in office, his critics contend that he is laying the groundwork for a constitutional amendment to extend his rule beyond 2015.

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