Just over a year after a street uprising and military coup ousted the longtime regime of President Blaise Compaoré — and less than two months after a short-lived, violent coup attempt against the transitional government — Burkina Faso is heading to the polls for what it hopes will be its first free presidential election after decades of strongman and military rule. It has been a bumpy ride to get to this point.
Despite a ban on ruling party candidates, France24 reports that:
Seven of the 14 candidates played important roles in the fallen regime, without backing Compaore to the end.
Sort of inevitable when there is single-party/one-man rule for decades. Anyone who goes into public service ends up working for the regime at some point. And here they are:
Roch Marc Christian Kabore and Zephirin Diabre, considered the frontrunners, are both former government ministers.
Kabore worked with Compaore for 26 years, serving as prime minister and then speaker of the National Assembly. He also ran the CDP for more than a decade, but quit the party in disgrace 10 months before Compaore was ousted.
Diabre, an economist, long opted for an international career, but also served at home as minister of the economy and finance. He also joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from Compaore.