Burkina Faso: 13 candidates compete for Presidency

Twelve contenders will try, on November 22, to beat Roch Marc Christian Kabore who is seeking a second presidential term.With…

Twelve contenders will try, on November 22, to beat Roch Marc Christian Kabore who is seeking a second presidential term.With less than a week left before D-Day, the election campaign is in full swing. Roch Marc Kristian Kabore, who was elected in 2015 after the insurgency that ousted Blaise Compaore from the presidency, will once again seek the votes of his compatriots. If he is the favorite in this election, the outgoing president will still have to work hard to convince his fellow citizens who are very affected by the deterioration of the security situation since his coming to power.

And this is precisely the issue that some candidates intend to raise against him. One of these contenders is Zephirin Diabre, the opposition leader, who came second in the 2015 presidential election.

A former Minister of Economy and Finance of the 90s, in the Kabore government, Diabre is the leader of the Union for Progress and Change (UPC) created in 2010. He promises a revolution in three sectors: industry, agriculture and education.

Originally from the province of Zoundweogo (center-south), this former international civil servant, 61, stood out in 2015 by his opposition to the amendment of Article 37 of the Constitution, which was meant to allow Compaore to remain in power.

Two other participants in the 2015 presidential election will also try their luck again. They are Tahirou Barry and Ablasse Ouedraogo. The former, ranked 3rd five years ago with 3 percent of the votes cast, had slammed the door of President Kabore’s first government. At 45, this lawyer by training hopes to reap the fruit of this political act, especially in the Sahel area where he hails from.

Ablasse Ouedraogo is, for his part, presented as the most experienced of all. Indeed, the former Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has a rich international career behind him. At 67, the former foreign minister is aiming for the presidential chair for the second time.

Excluded from the race in 2015 for having supported the constitutional amendment project wanted by Blaise Compaore, Eddie Komboigo, president of the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), the former ruling party, and Gilbert Noel Ouedraogo from ‘Alliance pour la Democratie et la Federation-Rassemblement Democratique’ (ADF/RDA) are making their comeback.

A businessman, Mr. Komboigo has succeeded in winning over the CDP party stalwarts. Thanks to his significant financial resources, the founder of the accounting firm Kafec-KA dreams of a destiny similar to that of Benin’s Patrice Talon. To this end, the solid establishment of his party is a major asset.

Gilbert Noel Ouedraogo also wants to bounce back. At 51, he enjoys the traditional foundation of the ADF/RDA, mainly in the north of the country.

A figure of the dissident wing of CDP, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo has sharpened his weapons in the institutions of the sub-region since he was Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) and President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The ‘Agir Ensemble’ (Acting Together) candidate has also served as Prime Minister in his country.

Yacouba Isaac Zida, who has been living in exile in Canada since 2016, is also in running for president. The former transitional Prime Minister is under an arrest warrant for “peacetime desertion and refusal of obedience.” In his absence, the executives of the People’s Movement for Salvation (MPS) intend to work for his victory.

Some novices will try to be spoilers. This is the case of Do Pascal Sessouma, president of Burkina Vision. This former journalist from the Radio Broadcasting Television of Burkina (RTB, public) and Tele Quebec (Canada) proposes a social project that places the citizen at the heart of his concerns.

For his part, Claude Aime Tassembedo is the only independent candidate. Originally from Bobo-Dioulasso, the economic capital of the country, since 2007 he has headed a Human Resources consulting firm called Africa Knowledge.

Segui Ambroise Farama will defend the colors of the Organization of African Peoples-Burkina Faso (Opa-BF). A lawyer by training, he claims to embody change and aims to give substance to Pan-Africanism.

Abdoulaye Soma, the leader of ‘Soleil d’Avenir,’ is the youngest of the candidates. Aged 41, the constitutional lawyer is banking on the youth vote.

Finally, Monique Yeli Kam of the ‘Mouvement pour la Renaissance du Burkina’ (MRF) is the only woman in the presidential race. She promises, if elected, to reduce inequalities through a new educational policy.