COMPAORE IS GONE WHAT NEXT? TOWARDS CONSOLIDATING MILITARY POWER OR PROPLE’S POWER

In another three years, Compaore would have been in office for three decades. Even two decades is too much for a person to be at the helm of a Republic. What more could a person give to enhance liberty and prosperity after 20 years?

Transfer of power from one democratic government to another enables people to compare leaders to know their strengths and weaknesses. It gives possibility for reforms and breathing space for those who were in government to take stock and those in their place to consider how to enlarge liberty and prosperity.

This is what makes those political systems stable. Look at Senegal. People are making comparisons between three governments. Even though the transition from Wade to Macky is not so smooth because of the arrests of political leaders for corruption, Wade is still able to make his case with the people. Unlike Ghaddafi who is gone for good or Compaore who may not be able to return to Burkina Faso, Wade made a triumphant return to Senegal because he is not afraid of the Senegalese people.

Leaders who serve the people cannot be afraid of the people and would not be afraid to hand over power through term limits or surrender power through electoral defeat. Compaore had the opportunity to hand over power like Rawlings through term limit.

He refused to read the dangers of trying to amend the constitution. He did not know that a government which is alienated from its people and its army must come tumbling down. Compaore had to resign at the 11th hour when it was already too late.

The question now arises: What next for Burklina Faso?

The people of Burkina Faso must not make the mistake made in Egypt and Libya. It should be clear that once there is a power vacuum a soldier in the Regular Army, a head of an armed faction or a political Party leader may fish political power out of the politically trouble waters.

Two powers are evident in Burkina Faso, the power of the regular army and the power of the people. If there is to be democratic change the power of the regular army must be put under the control of the will of the people which could only be done by organising a national Conference of all stakeholders to form an interim government which will preside over the holding of free and fair elections.

It is fashionable to claim that democracy has failed the people and propose the perpetuation of coup makers in power to uproot corruption. Democracy is people’s power. How could the people fail the people? It is autocratic leaders who have failed the people by usurping the power of the people. Real change is to hand over power back to the people.

In the interim, since there is no peaceful transfer of power, there is need for National Consultation involving all stake holders. A national Conference involving political heads, military heads, security heads, Civil society heads, Traditional heads and Religious heads should meet to form a constituent Assembly which would be empowered to engage in consultation with the members of the overthrown Cabinet, the National Assembly and the President of the Courts so as to work out a transitional government lasting for the number of months it would take to hold elections under the present constitution should the office of president were to become vacant .