Burkina Faso. In February, President Blaise Compaoré announced that November 21 presidential elections would be held that year. Since the 2005 elections, the country holds presidential elections every five years. Compaoré came to power through a coup in 1987 and has since been elected president in general elections 1991, 1998 and 2005.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Burkina Faso has a population of 19.75 million (2018). Thousands of people were threatened by famine in the northern parts of the country due to drought during April – May, the hottest months of the year in Burkina Faso. In July, the central region, especially the area east of the capital Ouagadougou, was hit by heavy downpours that led to flooding. More than 100,000 people were forced to flee their homes and 16 people were reported dead. Roads, homes and other buildings were destroyed or damaged.
As expected, President Blaise Compaoré was re-elected in the first round of November 21 presidential elections. He received 81 percent of the vote. The other six candidates who ran in the elections ended up far behind. In second place came Hama Arba Diallo from the Party for Democracy and Socialism with just under 8 percent of the vote. Place three was taken by Bénéwendé Sankara, who represented the Union pour la Renaissance/Party Sankariste party, and gained just over 5 percent. Sankara had previously challenged Compaoré and was considered to be the chief rival of the incumbent president before the election.
According to election observers, it was a free, peaceful, credible and transparent choice. It did not agree with the opposition, but accused the government of electoral fraud. Among other things, it was claimed that there was a parallel voting length and that some voters had voted several times. At the same time, some other voters, especially in areas where the opposition had many sympathizers, had not received their voting cards. Sankara demanded that the election be annulled and that the head of the Election Commission resign.
Gold production in Burkina Faso has risen sharply since 2008. Like other gold producers in the world, the country is experiencing a boom due to rising world market prices for the precious metal. Production growth was expected to be 60 percent in 2010, according to the country’s Minister of Mines and Energy Abdoulaye Abdoulkader Cisse. Between 2008 and 2009, production had doubled. Foreign mining investments in Burkina Faso have increased and in 2010 new gold mines were expanded, but also zinc and manganese mines. The authorities expected that 3,000 jobs would be created in the new mines. The sharp increase in production between 2008 and 2009 had not given many new job opportunities. Gold is Burkina Faso’s second largest cotton export product.