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Protests push Burkina Faso president from power

India TV News Desk 01 Nov 2014, 8:20:50 AM IST
India TV News Desk

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: The president of Burkina Faso stepped down on Friday after protesters stormed parliament and set the building ablaze, ending the 27-year reign of one of Africa's longest-serving rulers.

Confusion reigned late Friday over who was in charge: An army general quickly announced he was stepping into the vacuum left by departing President Blaise Compaore, but then a colonel later appeared to be vying for power.

Gen. Honore Traore, the joint chief of staff, told a packed room of reporters that he would assume the presidency until elections were called.

Later, an army statement read on television and attributed to Col. Yacouba Zida announced that the borders had been closed, and a transitional committee had been set up. Zida had earlier announced that the constitution had been suspended.

When he resigned, Compaore had said a vote would be held in 90 days, but Zida said the “length and makeup of the transitional body will be decided later.” It was not immediately clear who was put on the transitional committee.

Over the course of several dramatic hours, Compaore went from looking likely to jam through parliament a bill that would let him seek a fifth term to agreeing to step down next year to abandoning office immediately.