Burkina Faso’s Govt. Versus Political Parties

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Members of the ECOWAS Court

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ECOWAS court gives its judgement on the case seven political parties brought against the Burkina Faso’s government on July 13

ECOWAS Court of Justice will rule on the case brought by seven of Burkina Faso’s political parties contesting the amendment to the country’s Electoral Act which excluded them from participation in the country’s political process on July 13.

The seven parties, including the former ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress of erstwhile President Blaise Compaore are asking the Court to declare that the 7th April 2015 Protocol amending the Electoral Act No.014 passed by the National Assembly in 2001 violated their human rights.

In suit No. ECW/CCJ/APP/19/15, the political parties and 13 individuals are asking the court to hold that the amendment promulgated by the Transitional Government which came into office after the departure of the former President following the violent demonstrations of 30th and 31st October 2014 violated the country’s constitution and other community texts.

A panel of three judges of the Court led by Justice Yaya Boiro on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 heard the arguments of both parties including the counsel to the plaintiff, Moussa Coulibaly who submitted that the amendment excluded the plaintiffs from the electoral process and that the amendment should be expunged to enable them regain their constitutional rights to participate in the electoral process.

But Mamadou Savadogo and Guy Herve Kam, counsels to the government of Burkina Faso, urged the court to declare the suit inadmissible, considering that no violation of human right has been established in this case citing among other cases, the court’s decision in the case of Hissein Habre v. Republic of Senegal where the court held there must be “proof of violation…” and that the court lacked jurisdiction to rule in matters of electoral laws of national courts.

Savadogo stated that restrictions on eligibility can be imposed when the circumstance arises or when  a breach occurs, arguing that even the head of the transition process, members of the transitional national councils and others were also excluded from contesting but were entitled to vote.

The court also granted the application by the plaintiffs for expedited procedure in view of the forthcoming elections in the country due to take place October 2015

Also on the panel of the court were Justices Hameye Foune Mahalmadane and Alioune Sall.

— July 7, 2015 @ 6.00 GMT

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