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Burkina Faso Picks Transitional President

Authorities in Burkina Faso on Monday picked former foreign minister, Michel Kafando as transitional president in a bid to guide the West African country to elections in the wake of a recent military takeover in the country.

Kafando was picked as part of a charter ironed out after long time President Blaise Compaore was forced out of office on October 31 following mass protests.

The interim president, a diplomat, will name a prime minister to appoint a 25-member government, but will not be allowed to contest the elections planned for late next year.

“The committee has just designated me to guide temporarily the destiny of our country. This is more than an honour. It’s a true mission which I will take with the utmost seriousness,” Kafando said.

He was chosen over other candidates, including Cherif Sy, a journalist and Josephine Ouedraogo, a former minister.

He was selected by a committee of 23 officials, who were drawn from the army, traditional and religious groups, civil society and the political opposition.

His selection came after a closed-door meeting that started on Sunday and rolled into the early hours of Monday.

Kafando’s appointment will now have to be ratified by the Constitutional Council.

The 72 year old Kafando was an ambassador of Burkina Faso at the United Nations and was for a year president of the Security Council, one of several senior posts he held during Compaore’s presidency.

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