Burkinabé parliamentary election, 2012

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Parliamentary elections were held in Burkina Faso on 2 December 2012. They were the first elections held since the National Assembly dissolved the National Electoral Commission in 2011, following fraud allegations concerning the 2010 presidential elections. Municipal elections for over 18,000 councillors were held simultaneously.[1] The elections were held amidst a period of political uncertainty, following protests against President Blaise Compaore's regime.[2]

The result was a victory for the ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), which won 70 of the 127 seats in the National Assembly.[2]

Background[edit]

The 2010 presidential elections were criticized by opposition leaders and independent observers for various missteps in democratic practice. Reported issues included the inappropriate influence of traditional leaders, ballot and voting card shortages at polling stations, inaccurate electoral lists and a misappropriation of resources by the state for Compaore's re-election campaign.[3]

Electoral system[edit]

The 127 members of the National Assembly were elected for five-year terms, of which 111 were elected in 45 multi-member constituencies ranging in size from two to nine seats, with the remaining 16 elected in a single nationwide constituency.[2] The elections were conducted using closed list proportional representation.[4] Individual candidates won seats based on their position on the party list, the order of which was decided by each party’s leadership.[5]

Opposition parties criticized the government's inability to reliably determine voter eligibility.[2] In response, the government created a biometric voter identification system, and the National Assembly dissolved the existent Electoral Commission. Pryce and Nascimento noted that these steps, along with government campaigns to encourage women's involvement in politics, mark a movement towards sounder political practices in Burkina Faso.[2]

Campaign[edit]

Around 3,000 candidates ran in the 45 provincial constituencies, with 74 parties and electoral alliances competed for the 16 national seats.[2]

The CDP was supported by the Alliance for Democracy and Federation – African Democratic Rally, which was still considered an opposition party. The Union for Progress and Change (UPC), formed by a CDP defector, gained attention as a possible challenger to the CDP prior to the election as it protested he party's attempts to lengthen President Compaore’s term via a constitutional amendment that aimed to remove presidential term limits.[2]

Other minor parties emphasized ideological connections to Thomas Sankara, Compaore's predecessor,[2] with four parties considering themselves Sankarist, including the National Council for Rebirth–Sankarist Movement, Pan-African Union for Sankarism–Progressive Movement, Union for Democratic Rebirth–Sankarist Movement and the Union for Rebirth / Sankarist Movement.[2]

Conduct[edit]

According to domestic and international observers, efficiency and legitimacy improved in the 2012 elections after the government introduced electoral reforms, though opposition forces claimed the ruling party used state resources in its campaign.[3] The elections were observed by 37 parties, all from 21 members of the African Union. There were also a small number of domestic observers, most associated with non-partisan non-governmental organizations, including the Centre for Democratic Governance and the Independent Observatory of Elections.[2]

Bernard Makuza, head of the African Union electoral observer mission, declared the elections free and fair, though he decried public apathy toward the elections, especially in the cities.[6] However, the UPC claimed there was vote rigging in Kadiogo Province,[7] following a delay in reporting ballot counts.[6] UPC campaign director Nathaneal Ouedrego declared his intention to "give proof of fraud and irregularities in Kadiogo in the next days in order to demand pure and simply the cancellation of elections in that province".[7]

Results[edit]

Just under 76% of eligible voters participated in the elections, the highest turnout since multi-party politics was reintroduced in 2002, possibly due to the perceived viability of opposition to the CDP.[2] Support in some electoral districts shifted from the CDP to the UPC, leading to a notable decrease in the CDP's popular vote count, although it only lost three seats.[2] The UPC secured as many votes as the ADF–RDA, and more votes than any other opposition party. Overall, thirteen parties won seats.

Party Votes % Seats
National Constituency Total +/–
Congress for Democracy and Progress 1,467,749 48.66 8 62 70 –3
Alliance for Democracy and Federation – African Democratic Rally 338,970 11.24 2 16 18 +4
Union for Progress and Reform 334,453 11.09 2 17 19 New
Union for Rebirth / Sankarist Movement 131,592 4.36 1 3 4 0
Party for Democracy and Socialism/Metba 118,713 3.94 1 1 2 0
Union for the Republic 92,935 3.08 1 3 5 0
Convention of Democratic Forces 72,299 2.40 1 2 3 0
Organisation for Democracy and Labour 62,479 2.07 0 1 1 New
National Union for Democracy and Development 43,795 1.45 0 1 1 +1
Alternative Faso 40,310 1.34 0 1 1 New
Rally for the Development of Burkina 29,164 0.97 0 1 1 –1
National Rebirth Party 26,125 0.87 0 0 0 –1
National Alliance for Development–Social Justice Party 23,719 0.79 0 0 0
Rally for Democracy and Socialism 23,504 0.78 0 1 1 New
Social Forces Front 22,090 0.73 0 0 0
National Convention for the Progress of Burkina 13,505 0.45 0 1 1 New
Rally of the Republicans 11,989 0.40 0 0 0
African Movement of the Peoples 11,702 0.39 0 0 0
Rally of the Ecologists of Burkina 11,539 0.38 0 0 0
Party for Democracy and Progress / Socialist Party 11,316 0.38 0 0 0 –2
Patriotic Party for Development 9,360 0.31 0 0 0
Party of Independence, Labour and Justice 8,139 0.27 0 0 0
Union for the Democratic Renaissane/Sankarist Movement 7,769 0.26 0 0 0
Independent Party of Burkina 7,512 0.25 0 0 0
Patriotic Movement for the Renewal of Burkina 6,913 0.23 0 0 0
Party for National Unity and Development 5,093 0.17 0 0 0
National Democratic Convention 4,976 0.16 0 0 0
Rally for Independent Forces/Party of the Youth of Burkina 4,883 0.16 0 0 0
Alternative Burkina–Party for Socialism and Reformation 4,783 0.16 0 0 0
Union of Centrist Forces 4,623 0.15 0 0 0
Alliance for the Renaissance, Democracy and Integration 3,897 0.13 0 0 0
African Progressive Movement 3,805 0.13 0 0 0
Alliance of Revolutionary Democrats 3,726 0.12 0 0 0
Alliance of Progressive Forces 3,519 0.12 0 0 0
Burkinabé People's Party 3,406 0.11 0 0 0
Movement of the People for Socialism–Federal Party 3,243 0.11 0 0 0
Union of Patriots for Development 2,997 0.10 0 0 0
Union of Democrats for Social Progress 2,807 0.09 0 0 0
National Convention for Reform 2,468 0.08 0 0 0
Union of Progressive Forces 2,436 0.08 0 0 0
Alliance for Democracy of Faso 2,091 0.07 0 0 0
Pro-Democratic Organisation for the Defence of Nature 2,062 0.07 0 0 0
Republican Party for Total Independence 1,962 0.07 0 0 0
Party for the Rebirth of Democracy in Faso 1,740 0.06 0 0 0
Unified Socialist Party 1,470 0.05 0 0 0
National Union for Independence and Solidarity 1,401 0.05 0 0 0
Party for Progress and National Renewal 1,391 0.05 0 0 0
National Council for the Renaissance–Sankarist Movement 1,315 0.04 0 0 0
National Party of Social Democrats 1,313 0.04 0 0 0
Pan-African Movement of Faso 1,297 0.04 0 0 0
Union for the People's Movement 1,283 0.04 0 0 0
Social Union of Burkina 1,186 0.04 0 0 0
Party of Patriotic Progressives 1,102 0.04 0 0 0
Convention for Democracy and Liberty 1,077 0.04 0 0 0
Union for the Democratic Rebirth of Burkina 936 0.03 0 0 0
Movement for Progress and Reform 870 0.03 0 0 0
People's Council for Action 849 0.03 0 0 0
Patriotic Movement for Alternation 810 0.03 0 0 0
Party of Pan-African Patriots 791 0.03 0 0 0
Patriotic Front for Reform 715 0.02 0 0 0
Greens of Faso 680 0.02 0 0 0
Party for the Protection of the Environment/Nature Conservation 678 0.02 0 0 0
Patriotic Rally of Salvation 671 0.02 0 0 0
Pan-African Union for Sankarism–Progressive Movement 658 0.02 0 0 0
People's Movement for Democracy 656 0.02 0 0 0
Union for Democracy and Development 510 0.02 0 0 0
Alliance for the Republic and Democracy 402 0.01 0 0 0
Patriotic Movement of Democratic Youths 379 0.01 0 0 0
New Political Rally 363 0.01 0 0 0
Union of Democratic Forces of Burkina 359 0.01 0 0 0
Centrist Party for Democracy and Progress 353 0.01 0 0 0
National Union for Democracy and Progress 338 0.01 0 0 0
Union of Democratic Forces and Progressives 281 0.01 0 0 0
Fasocrat Party 87 0.00 0 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 299,416
Total 3,315,795 100 16 111 127
Registered voters/turnout 4,365,153 75.96
Source: CENI, Adam Carr

References[edit]

  1. ^ Burkina Faso Awaits Election Results Voice of Africa, 3 December 2012
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Pryce, Paul; Nascimento, Maria Ines (June 2014). "Notes on recent elections: The 2012 parliamentary election in Burkina Faso". Electoral Studies. 34: 338–342. doi:10.1016/j.electstud.2013.08.016. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Burkina Faso". Freedom House. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Election Profile IFES
  5. ^ "Electoral Systems". ACE Project. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Burkina Faso: Parliamentary Elections". Africa Research Bulletin. 49 (12): 19520B–19521A. 24 January 2013. doi:10.1111/j.1467-825X.2013.04842.x. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Ruling party wins majority in Burkina Faso vote". Thomson Reuters. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2015.