Burkina Faso’s government on Wednesday set November 29 as a new date for presidential and legislative elections, seeking to get a transition to democracy back on track in the wake of a failed one-week coup in September. A popular uprising overthrew longtime leader Blaise Compaore a year ago. Since then, interim President Michel Kafando has been in power in the West African state. A cabinet meeting fixed the November date for the first round of the elections, the government said.
A court in Burkina Faso last week charged a general and a former foreign minister with crimes including threatening state security and murder in the wake of the coup. General Gilbert Diendere led a putsch by elite presidential guard soldiers that saw them take Kafando, the prime minister and members of the transitional government hostage.
In a related development, the government said it was setting up a defence council and a national intelligence agency. The two bodies would “allow better management of the country’s defence and security,” the government said. In another security measure, it banned vehicles with tinted windows and improper paperwork from the roads.
The government has beefed up security on main roads since the coup and an attack last week in the town of Samorogouan, western Burkina Faso, in which three gendarmes and a civilian were killed. Residents of a nearby village found explosives that belonged to the attackers, said the government, which had earlier blamed leaders of the failed coup for the attack.