OUAGADOUGOU Jan 25 Defectors from the ruling
party of Burkina Faso's long-serving President Blaise Compaore
have formed a new political movement to challenge him, amid
concerns that he is seeking to change the constitution to stand
in a planned 2015 election.
Compaore, who seized power in the gold-producing West
African nation in a a 1987 coup, won an election in 2010 but his
two-term mandate is set to expire next year.
The formation of the Movement of People for Progress (MPP),
a social democratic party, follows the biggest opposition march
in decades last week to protest against an end to presidential
term limits. Opposition leaders said between 300,000 and 500,000
"What is at issue is well and truly our democratic process
and political stability which are currently under threat," said
the president of the new party Roch Kabore, at the party's first
general assembly in the capital on Saturday.
Members of the MPP, including its president who was formerly
head of the National Assembly, are drawn from the 75 politicians
who left Compaore's Congress for Democracy and Progress party in
a mass exodus earlier this month.
Poor, landlocked Burkina Faso is one of several African
countries due to face the challenge of political transition as
the terms of a batch of long-serving leaders draw to a close.
Over the next two years, the leaders of Benin, Democratic
Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo are also due to step
aside unless they change their constitutions.
(Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; Writing by Emma Farge;
Editing by Andrew Roche)