Burkina Faso’s constitutional council has declared more than 40 people linked to former President Blaise Compaore’s ruling alliance ineligible for an October legislative election.
The West African country, currently ruled by a transitional government, will also choose on Oct. 11 a successor for Compaore who was toppled by street protests as he sought to modify the constitution in order to extend his 27-year rule.
Many of the candidates for both the legislative and presidential elections come from the political old guard.
“All people having supported an anti-constitutional change damaging to the principle of democratic transition, notably the principle of limiting the number of presidential mandates leading to an insurrection or other uprising are ineligible,” the court said late on Tuesday, citing article 166 of the electoral code.
Among those disqualified by the decision were Eddie Komboigo, a former member of parliament representing Compaore’s former ruling party the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) and Gilbert Noel Ouedraogo from the Alliance for Democracy and Federation-African Democratic Rally (ADF-RDA).
Burkina Faso’s transitional government in April modified its code to exclude anyone who supported Compaore’s bid to stay in office, but the top court of the 15-national Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the highest appeal tribunal in the region, overruled that in July.
However, Burkina’s constitutional council said it had based its decision on its own modified national law. “Burkina Faso has not applied the 13 July 2015 decision by the ECOWAS court and as a result article 166 of our electoral code remains in force,” the body said in its statement.
It was not immediately clear if the ECOWAS court could overrule its latest decision. The constitutional council will decide on the eligibility of presidential candidates later this week.