Burkina Faso elections set for November 29 - Daily Nation

Burkina Faso elections confirmed for November 29

Thursday October 15 2015

Burkina Faso's interim President Michel Kafando

Burkina Faso's interim President Michel Kafando delivers a statement to the press at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Ouagadougou on September 23, 2015. Presidential and parliamentary elections would be held on November 29. AFP PHOTO | SIA KAMBOU 

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Burkina Faso's interim government confirmed Wednesday that presidential and parliamentary elections initially set for October, but delayed by a failed coup, would go ahead on November 29.

The government confirmed the date agreed Tuesday with the main political factions for the elections, which were scheduled for October 11 but then put back after a short-lived putsch last month.

The polls are seen as a key step on the west African country's road to democracy, a year after the ouster of its long time leader Blaise Compaore in a popular uprising.

Voters will be presented with two ballots — one for choosing members of parliament, the other for choosing among 14 candidates competing in the first round of the presidential election.

Presidential guard members loyal to Compaore announced a coup on September 17, bringing the country to the brink of chaos for six days before the putsch collapsed with its leaders admitting they lacked popular support.

One of their demands was that a ban on Compaore loyalists running for office be lifted.

The presidential guard has since been disarmed and formally disbanded.

Compaore was ousted by a campaign of street protests last year after attempting to extend his 27 years in power.

A number of his close aides and supporters have been arrested over the attempted coup, which left 14 dead and scores injured.

Earlier on Wednesday, Amnesty International said there could be no impunity for presidential guard officers who "displayed a cold-blooded disregard for human life" and shot dead unarmed civilians including children in the wake of the coup.

Citing eyewitnesses, the rights group said that on several occasions soldiers opened fire without warning on protesters holding their hands in the air.

It said two children were among the 14 dead, six of whom were shot in the back.

Among the 271 people injured in the post-coup violence was a pregnant woman who was shot in the stomach and had to have a Caesarean delivery, the group said.

A midwife told Amnesty the woman's child "was born with a gunshot wound on the left buttock".