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Burkina Faso May Change Constitution After Army Mutinies

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June 24 (Bloomberg) -- Burkina Faso is considering changing its constitution after a series of army mutinies and protests against the government, said Bongnessan Arsene Ye, the minister of political and parliamentary reforms.

The government has set up a 68-member committee to consider the changes, he told reporters yesterday in Ouagadougou, the capital.

The opposition said it would boycott the committee on concern it will extend presidential limits, allowing President Blaise Compaore to serve a fifth term in office after elections in 2015. Burkina Faso has been wracked by army protests this year over delayed pay and allowances, including a mutiny in the evening of April 14 that forced Compaore to flee the capital.

“After several working sessions, opposition leaders decided not to send any representatives,” Benewende Stanislas Sankara, an opposition politician, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The committee may “weaken rather than strengthen our democratic process.”

Six soldiers and one girl were killed in the town of Bobo Dioulasso during a military operation to crush a mutiny in an army base, Safety Minister Jerome Bougouma said on June 5.

Burkina Faso is Africa’s biggest cotton producer and one of the continent’s poorest countries, with gross domestic product per capita of $517, about half the average rate for the continent, according to the World Bank.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Gongo in Ouagadougou at sgongo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net