Burkina Faso’s former PM to be named as presidential nominee

Former prime minister Isaac Zida will today be named the nominee of the Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) party ahead of

burkina faso

Photo: Reuters/Joe Penney

Former prime minister Isaac Zida will today be named the nominee of the Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) party ahead of the presidential elections this November. Zida has yet to return to Burkina Faso following his 2016 exile to Canada.

A looming concern about the upcoming elections is the potential for the results to be legitimised based on an extremely low voter turnout. This appears as an increasingly likely scenario due to an agreement between the main political parties to not delay elections, arguing a delay would harm the credibility of the relatively new government.

In the interest of national unity in the face of a mounting extremist threat, 22 opposition parties have recently signed a pact ensuring their support for one another’s candidates no matter who advances. A unified opposition is rare, which may bode well for Burkina Faso’s attempts to combat the extremist threat past the election. Yet, regardless of the electoral outcome, a similar experience by Mali casts shadows on Burkina Faso’s prospects for peace. Like Mali, Burkina Faso’s security forces have been accused of human rights violations against local citizens in areas where they are fighting extremists. In Mali, this resulted in massive protests against the government and eventually a coup—a scenario within the realm of possibility for neighbouring Burkina Faso.

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