Pro-democracy protesters chant slogans against military rule at Place de la Nation in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, November 2, 2014
Pro-democracy protesters chant slogans against military rule at Place de la Nation in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, November 2, 2014

Burkina Faso’s ex-Foreign Minister (FM) Brigadier General Djibrill Bassole on Sunday “took leave” from the army to be able to contest for forthcoming presidential elections.

Pro-democracy protesters chant slogans against military rule at Place de la Nation in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, November 2, 2014

A decree signed by President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida “has allowed me to be on leave from the army for two years due to personal reasons,” Bassole said when he addressed the media in Ouagadougou.
“From now henceforth, I am free to engage in both local and international politics,” Bassole said, adding that “official declaration of his candidature in the forthcoming elections will be made soon.”
“I will set a date to meet with the young people and give them my manifesto and respond to the request they have made to me,” he added.
Bassole served as a mediator in a number of crises in the West African sub-region and in Africa during the reign of Blaise Compaore.
Youths have been organizing large public meetings to demand that he contests for Burkina Faso’s presidential elections set for Oct. 11, 2015.
However, several political parties and civil society organizations that organized protests which overthrew Compaore last year, have urged the new authorities to “exclude” soldiers from politics.
“I do not want to engage in the debate on exclusion of other candidates. One should not point fingers at other citizens and say, you, you have no right to contest. We should respect the Constitution,” Bassole insisted.
He further urged political actors to allow transition organs to carry out their mandate. “Let the transition organs to play their role and finally let the people decide who should lead the country, ” the former foreign minister said.
Besides Bassole, the former sports minister in the deposed regime Colonel Yacouba Ouedraogo and Jean Baptisse Natama who is equally an army official and the director for the African Union office, have expressed interest to contest for the presidential elections. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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