The Slatest

After Burkina Faso President Tries to Extend 27-Year Reign, Rioters Set Parliament on Fire

Outside the Parliament building in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.

Photo by Joe Penney/Reuters

Blaise Compaoré, the president of the West African nation Burkina Faso, has been in office since 1987—and recently introduced plans to allow himself as many as three more five-year terms. The move has set off rioting in the country’s major cities. From the Guardian:

Hundreds of people broke through a heavy security cordon and stormed the National Assembly building in the capital Ouagadougou, ransacking offices and setting fire to cars, before attacking the national television headquarters and moving on the presidential palace. One man was reportedly killed.

Lawmakers were due to vote on the legislation that would allow Compaoré – who took power in a 1987 coup – to contest next year’s election…

The ruling party headquarters in the second city of Bobo Dioulasso and the city hall were also set alight by protesters, witnesses said.

The term-extension vote, scheduled for today, has been canceled. Compaoré won an election in 2010 with 81 percent of the vote; the next presidential election is in 2015.