2014-10-31 15:52:00

Burkina Faso: embattled president resigns

(Vatican Radio) The President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, stepped down Friday, in the face of massive protests against his attempts to change the law in order to stay in power. Compaore ruled the French-speaking West African nation for 27 years. In a speech ceding power, he said that elections for a new leader will be held in 90 days. Read on state television, the announcement followed a defiant message that was issued on Thursday, in which Compaore said he would continue in power through next year.

After the Thursday announcement, angry citizens stormed the parliament building.

It was not immediately clear who would be in control of the country in the short term, though Compaore’s statement suggested that, under the constitution, power would devolve in the interim to the prime minister. The chief of the armed forces, General Honore Traore, meanwhile, issued a statement saying that he had taken charge. For months, an opposition coalition has been urging Compaore not to seek re-election next year, in what would have been his fifth term in power. Compaore and his ruling party, however, had been trying to push a bill through parliament on Thursday that would have allowed him to run again.

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