Monday, July 16, 2007


President Blaise Compaoré of the Republic of Burkina Faso
President since 1987

Compaoré was born, on February 3, 195, in Ziniaré, 34 km from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, (named at that time Upper Volta). Compaoré completed his secondary education in 1972 and in the following year September 1973 he went on to join the military - Military academy Inter-arm Cameroon (EMIAC).

Between 1975 -1977 he attended the School of Infantry of Montpellier (France). It was at in a military training center in Morocco that Compaoré met his predecessor the late president of Burkina Faso
Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara in 1976 . Compaoré later on 1980 served under the late President Thomas Sankara as Minister of State.

Sankara and Compaoré

The late Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara

Compaoré became president of Burkina on October 15, 1987 in a bloody coup that killed Sankara. Compaoré described the killing of Sankara as an "accident", however this claim is widely disputed. Upon taking the presidency, he reverted many of the policies of Sankara, claiming that his policy was a "rectification" of the Burkinabé revolution. Blaise Campaore's liability in connection with the assassination of former President has been the object of the first complaint Against Burkina Faso, lodged by Mariam Sankara, Thomas Sankara's widow. In April 2006, the UN Human Rights Committee issued a damning condemnation of Burkina Faso's failure to investigate the circumstance of Thomas Sankara's death.

With Compaoré alone at the helm, a democratic constitution was approved by referendum in 1991. In December 1991, Compaoré was elected President, running unopposed after the opposition boycotted the election. The opposition did participate in the following year's legislative elections, in which the ruling party won a majority of seats.

The government of the Fourth Republic includes a strong presidency, a prime minister, a Council of Ministers presided over by the president, a unicameral National Assembly, and the judiciary. The legislature and judiciary are nominally independent but remain susceptible to executive influence.

Burkina held multiparty municipal elections in 1995 and 2000 and legislative elections in 1997 and 2002. Balloting was considered largely free and fair in all elections. The Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), the governing party, won overwhelming majorities in all the elections until the 2002 legislative election, where the CDP won with a small majority of the 111 seats. The opposition made large gains in the 2002 elections.

Compaoré won the November 1998 presidential election for a second 7-year term against two minor-party candidates. But within weeks of Compaoré's victory the domestic opposition took to the streets to protest the December 13, 1998 murder of leading independent journalist Norbert Zongo, whose investigations of the death of the President's brother's chauffeur suggested involvement of the Compaoré family.

The opposition Collective Against Impunity--led by human rights activist Halidou Ouedraogo and including opposition political parties of Prof. Joseph Ki-Zerbo and (for a while) Hermann Yameogo, son of the first President--challenged Compaoré and his government to bring Zongo's murderers to justice and make political reforms. The Zongo killings still resonate in Burkina politics, though not as strongly as in the past. There has been no significant progress on the investigation of the case.

Blaise Compaoré wife Chantal Compaoré - They have been married since 1985

Compaoré was re-elected to the presidency for a 5-year term in November 2005. The current cabinet is dominated by Compaoré and the CDP. Given the fragile roots of democratic institutions, constitutional checks and balances are seldom effective in practice. The constitution was amended in 2000 to limit the president to a 5-year term, renewable once, beginning with the November 2005 election. The amendment is controversial because it did not make any mention of retroactivity, meaning that President Compaoré's eligibility to present himself for the 2005 presidential election is a matter of debate. The Constitutional Court ruled in October 2005 that the amendment was not retroactive, and Compaoré went on to win the November 2005 presidential election defeating 12 opponents and winning with over 80% of the votes. It is reported that early on in the race, 16 opposition parties announced a coalition to unseat the President, ultimately nobody wanted to give up their spot in the race to another leader in the coalition, and the pact fell through. International and national electoral observers mostly believed that the election was fair.

Compaoré hobbies are football, volley ball, basketball, reading and architecture.


One his relationship with President Gadhafi of Libya

"If it is necessary to recall the career of every leader or every nation before entering organizing into international relations, the world would not be what it is today. We take President Kadhafi for whom he is today: the architect of the African Union, leader of a country that, since 1994, has filed an international warrant for arresting bin Laden, and that finances numerous projects in Africa.

Libya and Burkina have pursued cooperation and partnership relations for a long time. With Colonel Kadhafi, we have converging points of view on many international issues, in particular concerning the necessity of creating the African Union and of guaranteeing the stability of the continent. In the long run, this kind of situation strengthens particular relations. However, these relations, no matter how friendly they are, are first of all defined by our countries’ interests. Furthermore, in my opinion, it would be excessive to talk about an axis between Tripoli and Ouagadougou because it would mean that our relations with Libya exclude other countries. In our foreign policy we really try hard to have the best relations with all the countries."

On Burkina active role and key advocate for regional integration through the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)

Our country has never concealed its positive attitude towards regional integration. Our Constitution stresses that "Burkina Faso can conclude Associate or Community agreements with any African State, with the possibility of totally giving up sovereign power ". We have always thought that our objective for the future is to create a large West African regional entity. Today integrated regions are the main destinations for business and investment. Each of the 8 member States of the UEMOA has its advantages it wants to benefit from. As far as we are concerned, we want to turn our country into a pole of regional development. Our strategic position in the very heart of Western Africa gives us such an opportunity.

It is also necessary to stress that our commitment in the UEMOA is maintained by the positive results already obtained as well as by expected results. In particular, this concerns the very successful experience of monetary cooperation for about thirty years now; and the Customs Union which is gradually set up, based on the model of the European Union. We are now intending to harmonize common sector-based policies in the fields of energy, transportation, telecommunications, industry and environment.

Another important factor that strengthens our action in favor of integration are our populations’ customs. For centuries now, they have maintained different contacts with other peoples. Therefore, the people of Burkina Faso are inclined to accept the idea of union with the people of the Ivory Coast, the Malians and the Ghanaians. In Burkina, you can find several social associations that advocate sub-regional integration, as well as African unity in general.

Finally, the fact of being the headquarters of the UEMOA certainly gives us more responsibilities, as regards the acceleration of the integration process. We always try hard to rigorously apply community decisions, in particular those that concern the elimination of tariff barriers between member States, and free circulation of people and goods.

On the new relationships between Burkina Faso and the Asian and Arab states in the middle east

The search for new partners in development is an essential dimension of our diplomacy. In this context, we cannot ignore the Arab and Asian countries. They experienced, quite recently, the same development problems as Burkina and they are now at a satisfactory level of development. Today, countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Republic of China (Taiwan) or Japan, strongly support us. Burkina intends to make the most of their experience in different fields. For example, the know-how of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in rice production. Professional training also interests us.

Arab countries intervene financially in important fields and domains that promote development such as major construction works (dams, village water supply, roads, etc.).

On his years of government experience and the need for institutional reforms in Burkina Faso

The main lesson that I learnt from this experience is that it is not enough to say “where there is will there is a path”. No matter how noble the ambitions are, concrete action depends on a certain number of objective factors. For example, how to chose between one thousand priorities in a country like Burkina that is confronted with difficult problems. With extremely limited means it is necessary to develop, almost simultaneously, infrastructures, education or the health system.

Since the adoption of the Constitution of the Fourth Republic in 1991, we have regularly undertaken reforms. As the process of democratic construction is carried out, new requirements appear; and it is necessary to continuously readjust the system, in order to adjust it to the wishes of the citizens and to the evolution of the society. In the last two years, a large number of reforms have been undertaken. The presidential mandate, which lasts 7 years, was brought down to 5 years, and it is henceforth renewable only once; a law was voted on the financing of activities of political parties and, in particular, the election campaigns; a statute was adopted for the opposition to improve the framework of its participation in the political life; the transparency of elections was strengthened by setting up a Committee with an organization totally independent from the Central Administration. In fact, this Committee includes 15 members proportionally representing the government, the opposition, and different associations. We also adopted the “single ballot” introducing a system of proportional representation, launched an important program of decentralization and so on. All of these reforms were carried out in a consensual way.

For more on this interview click here Blaise Compaoré Interview

A Majority of the Text is from the USA Department of State Bureau of African Affairs Overview on Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso President Web Portal
Prime Minister of Burkina Faso Website
Blaise Compaoré Interview


liberalandproud said...

Do you know if the President has any pets?

kebbz said...

blaise compaore you have truly betray a friend and you have betray Africa as well but your time will soon come