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European Union External Action

Burkina Faso: the recent military coup attempt did not succeed in disrupting the democratic process

Burkina Faso: the recent military coup attempt did not succeed in disrupting the democratic process
Burkina Faso: the recent military coup attempt did not succeed in disrupting the democratic process

For the first time the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to observe the elections in Burkina Faso. After a year of transitional government, the country seemed to be on the right track toward elections, in spite of the recent military coup attempt which took place last September.

At the invitation of the government of Burkina Faso, the European Union deployed an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to observe the 2015 presidential and parliamentary elections in Burkina Faso. A Core Team of six analysts arrived in Ouagadougou on September 5th and started its work, as the election date was set for October 11th.

However, on September 16th, a military coup sent the country into shock. During the short-lived coup, the President, the Prime minister and leading Ministers were detained and a General installed himself overnight as head of state. Following calls from the civil society to protest, Ouagadougou inhabitants started demonstrating. The strong reaction of the putschists led to 14 civilians being killed and more than 250 wounded in the capital.

People took to the streets all over Burkina Faso, protesting against the coup and asking the regular army to intervene against the putschists. Finally, the unanimous condemnation by the EU and the international community calling for the re-establishment of the transitional authorities and the people’s pressure succeeded in restoring order in Burkina Faso in an unprecedented – and peaceful – turnaround.

Now the elections can take place. A new date (November 29th 2015) for presidential and legislative elections has been set and the EU EOM to Burkina Faso can carry on its long-term and impartial observation, in support of the democratic process in Burkina Faso and the free expression of the will of its people.

In total, the EU EOM to Burkina Faso will deploy more than 80 Observers. The Mission will assess all aspects of the electoral process, including the legal framework, the performance of the election administration, the respect of political freedoms, the performance of the media, the polling and counting procedures, the tabulation of results, and the resolution of electoral disputes.

The EU EOM to Burkina Faso is led by the Chief Observer Cécile Kashetu KYENGE, Member of the European Parliament.