Burkina Faso’s President Kafando Says Elections Set for October

Burkina Faso’s President Michel Kafando said the country will hold elections in ten months time after the military took power on Oct. 30 last year following demonstrations.

“Our meeting with the national electoral commission allows us to expect elections from the beginning of October 2015,” he said in a Dec. 31 national address. Kafando, 72, said he will meet on Jan. 7 with political parties and civil society groups to begin planning for elections.

Kafando, a former foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations, was appointed as head of state by a committee of representatives from the army, religious groups and civil-society organizations.

Burkina Faso’s army took charge when Blaise Compaore fled on Oct. 31 after protests against his bid for another term in office. Regional leaders helped to mediate a return to civilian rule in a country that’s been used by the U.S. and France as a military hub to gather intelligence on Islamist militants.

Kafando dropped the suspension of Compaore’s Congress for Democracy and Progress party and that of its allies to allow them to prepare for elections. He also said, in the address, that the government may prosecute former members of Compaore’s government for corruption.

The government will also help the family of former President Thomas Sankara to find his grave, Kafando said. Sankara was assassinated in the 1987 coup in which Compaore came to power.

The country is sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest producer of cotton, the main crop in the agricultural-dependent economy, and the fifth-largest gold miner.

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