Thursday, August 27, 2015

Former ruling party banned (again? still? to a lesser degree?) in upcoming election in Burkina Faso

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the electoral code adopted in April banned Burkina Faso's former ruling party, the CDP, and some of its allies from competing in the upcoming election. The banned parties appealed to the Constitutional Court, who turned them down in May because of inadequate signatures. The banned parties appealed to the ECOWAS Community Court, and in July that court ruled that banning those parties was a violation of their human rights. So the CDP registered to compete in the election, along with some aligned parties and parties made up of former CDP members.

Now the Constitutional Court of Burkina Faso has ruled that the electoral code IS constitutional, and the banned parties are banned. Or at least some of their candidates are. The CDP held a press conference about it yesterday, and are calling for their supporters to launch a campaign of civil disobedience if they are not allowed to participate in the election.

When they were in the opposition, CDP's opponents boycotted elections in 1991 and 1998 because of the CDP's tactics, and now I guess the shoe is on the other foot. But it would be best for Burkina Faso's future, I think, to avoid tactics such as banning parties outright (or banning candidates based on their party affiliation).

UPDATE: Thanks to @mkevane for clarifying that the more recent ruling applies to some candidates and not the whole party. I added "to a lesser degree?" to the post title.)

UPDATE 2: The Supreme Court decision to exclude the CDP candidate for president seems pretty sweeping after all.

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