Burkina Faso's opposition leader Zephirin Diabre (left) and army-appointed leader, Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Zida (centre) with other senior military personnel pose with religious chiefs after the signing of a transition charter in Ouagadogou on November 16, 2014. Machel Kafando was named Burkina Faso's interim president. AFP PHOTO

Diploma heads Burkina Faso's interim government

Diplomat Michel Kafando has been chosen as Burkina Faso's interim president, officials in the west African country announced Monday and will head the country until 2015.


Kafando, one of four candidates, was selected after several hours of negotiation.

"The consensus candidate is Michel Kafando," said Ignace Sandwidi, a representative of the Catholic Church, which was involved in the discussions to find a new leader.

Kafando, 72, served as the country's ambassador to the United Nations from 1998 to 2011. Previously he was Burkina Faso's foreign affairs minister between 1981 and 1982.

Kafando was preferred to the other candidates, which included journalist Cherif Sy and sociologist and ex-minister Josephine Ouedraogo. He was selected by a committee of 23 officials.

Kafando's appointment will now have to be ratified by the Constitutional Council.

It comes ahead of a deadline imposed by the African Union, which instructed Burkina Faso to establish interim institutions and pick an interim president by Monday or face sanctions.

Elections are scheduled to be held in November next year, returning the country to civilian rule after long-time ruler Blaise Compaore was ousted in October.

Credit: AFP  

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