Burkina Faso – Constitutional conundrum

There is a constitutional problem in Burkina Faso.

According to Sidwaya Quotidien, in March a constitutional law was passed that would have extended the mandate of the National Assembly to no later than 3 June 2013. The mandate was due to expire on 6 May 2012. To ensure that the law was in conformity with the constitution, the President of the National Assembly submitted the law to the Constitutional Council. The Council has now ruled that the law is unconstitutional.

This creates a crisis because unless the situation is regularised before 6 May, the President of the Republic will have to legislate by decree until elections are held and a new Assembly is convened.

As I understand it, the aim of extending the mandate of the National Assembly was to ensure that legislative and municipal elections would be held at the same time later this year or early next year.

The Council struck down the law because it claimed that constitutional laws have to be general in nature and not specific. The Court’s decision is final.

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