Also: Burkina Faso.
Officially: République Démocratique Populaire de Burkina Faso.
Seat of government: Ouagadougou.
Status: Not democratic.
Structure: A transitional president and assembly were chosen by a variety of stakeholders.
Governing party: Transitional.
Head of government: Michael Kafando, interim president; Isaac Zida, interim prime minister.
Assessment: The state (“Haute-Volta” until 1984) has experienced numerous coups and therefore essentially military rule for most of its history. First president Maurice Yaméogo (1960-6) created a one-party state under the Union Démocratique Voltaïque – Rassemblement Démocratique Africain. He was overthrown by Sangoulé Lamizana in 1966. Lamizana was supposedly victor in an election in 1978, but was deposed in 1980, by Saye Zerbo. Zerbo was then deposed in 1982 by Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo, who ruled until his own overthrow in 1983. Blaise Compaoré was a part of the 1980 and 1982 coups and the leader of the 1983 coup, but helped install his friend Thomas Sankara. Sankara was a radical social reformer who was increasingly autocratic and violent, and Compaoré led a coup against him in 1987, in which Sankara was killed, probably as an execution, after which Compaoré reversed many of the reforms. His own ruling party was the Congrès pour la Démocratie et le Progrès. He faced no genuine opposition in his four staged elections (1991, 1998, 2005, 2010). He was nearly forced out by unrest in 2011. A second uprising took place in 2014, prompting military intervention, and Compaoré’s resignation. He was briefly replaced by army chief of staff Honoré Nabéré Traoré, before a younger officer, Zida of the élite presidential guard, took over. Zida yielded to internal and external pressure and a civilian administration was installed, none of whose members is supposed to run in the 2015 elections, but Zida was named prime minister subsequently.
FH: 5-3, partly free (not democratic). Econ: 3.52 (127), authoritarian.
Updated: 2014 November 21.