Burkina Faso leader to be announced by Monday

Army says interim civilian president to be declared by Monday, as political leaders sign transition deal in the capital.

Burkina Faso’s military rulers have said that the country’s new interim civilian leader will be announced not later than Monday.

Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida, the leader of the military government, had initially said on Saturday that parties to the political process had until 12:00 GMT on Sunday to propose a leader of the transition to civilian rule.

Soon after Sunday’s announcement, political leaders from across the West African nation signed an agreement in the capital creating a transitional government.

The country witnessed mass protests last month against President Blaise Compaore’s efforts to change the constitution to seek re-election in 2015 after 27 years in power in the landlocked former French colony of about 17 million people.

Zida declared himself head of state on November 1 after Compaore resigned and fled the country.

The army had announced on Saturday that the country’s constitution, which had been suspended by the military after Compaore was toppled, had been restored.

Archbishop favourite

Delicate negotiations had begun on Friday in Ouagadougou, the capital, over who the country’s next leaders would be, including the roles of president, the head of the interim parliament and the prime minister.

Paul Ouedraogo, a Catholic archbishop who is admired by a large part of the population, has been top of the list as the most likely candidate to serve as Burkina Faso’s interim president.

Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa, reporting from Ouagadougou, said: “Most people here do not want to see a politician in office.

“People want a neutral person and Ouedraogo is the person whom civil society, opposition and army agree on.”

However, Ouedraogo expressed his hesitation over taking up the position to French radio last week, saying: “The cleric does not engage in this kind of power.”

Mutasa said: “There are other names on the list should he not accept.”

Our correspondent also said that the new leader will be sworn in on Friday and the first government meeting is scheduled to take place on Saturday.

The military has faced mounting international pressure to transfer power to an interim government.

Source: Al Jazeera

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