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Political & Administrative Organization

Administratively speaking, Burkina Faso is organized into administrative districts (13 regions, 45 provinces, 350 departments) and territorial collectives having their own financial autonomy (13 regions, 351 communes).

Since 1987, Burkina Faso’s authorities have started a democratic process which led, on 2nd June 1991, to the adoption of a new constitution consecrating a multiparty political system and establishing a democratic Republic with a separation between executive, legislative and judicial branches.


The Presidential Office of Burkina Faso is called “Presidence du Faso”. The president of Burkina Faso is the Head of State. He is the head of the executive branch which he shares with the Prime Minister, appointed by the President himself.

The President of Burkina Faso is elected by direct popular vote for a five-year term, re-eligible once. On proposition made by the Prime Minister, he appoints the other members of the government and has the legitimate right to discharge them. The President of Burkina Faso leads the Council of Ministers.

His Excellency Mr. Blaise COMPAORE is the incumbent President of Burkina Faso.

The Prime minister of Burkina Faso is the head of Government. He coordinates government activities. He is responsible before both the President of Burkina Faso and the National Assembly. He is the second personality of the country.

The current Prime Minister is Mr. Tertius ZONGO, and so since 4th June 2007.


The legislative branch in Burkina Faso is the parliament composed of a unique chamber called “National Assembly.” The National Assembly is constituted of 111 deputies elected by a direct popular vote for a five-year term.

The National Assembly votes the law, has exclusive authority on taxes and controls government activities.

Since the adoption of the new constitution on 2nd June 1991, four legislative elections have been successively held in May 1992, 1997, 2002 and the last one on 6th May 2007. Thirteen (13) political parties are represented in the current legislative body which started its activities on 4th June 2007.

The ruling party, the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), holds 73 seats and the other 38 seats are shared by twelve opposition parties.

The President of the National Assembly is elected by the deputies for the length of the entire mandate of the legislative branch. He is the third personality of the country. In case of vacancy of the presidency of Burkina Faso or absolute incapacity of the President of the country, the functions of President of Burkina Faso are assumed by the President of the National Assembly until the next presidential elections.


The judicial branch is independent. It is composed of:

- A Supreme Court of Appeals (Cour de Cassation) is the highest jurisdiction of the judicial order. Its role is to control the application of the law in criminal, social and commercial fields.

- The Council of State (Conseil d’Etat) is the highest jurisdiction on administrative matters. It decides on all conflicts arising from the application of administrative laws.

- The Court of Accounts (la Cour des comptes) is the highest jurisdiction when it comes to controlling public finances.

- The Constitutional Council (Conseil Constitutionnel) is competent as regards the constitutional and electoral matters. It is competent to decide on the constitutionality of the laws, and the conformity of treaties and international agreement with the Constitution; it ensures regularity and transparency of referendums, and elections. It proclaims the final results of presidential, parliamentarian, and local elections. It decides on all electoral disputes.


There are also consultative organs in Burkina Faso for the sake of good governance in the country such as:

- The Economic and Social Council (Conseil Economique et Social) created in May 1993. it is composed of representatives of different sectors of economic and social activity. It provides with its point of view on bills of law and economic, social and cultural questions. It also has a right to make proposals as regards reforms in the above-mentioned fields.

- The Faso Mediator (Mediateur du Faso) created in May 1994. This institution offers the possibility for the Burkinabe to have a legal framework to ensure mediation between the citizen and the public administration. The Faso Mediator has a quasi-absolute attribution of investigation which allows him to motivate his views, recommendations and to confer them an uncontestable character. The Faso Mediator is an independent institution and does not receive any instruction from any authority.

- The High Information Council (Conseil Superieur de la Communication) created in August 1995 with the responsibility to ensure pluralism and monitor the freedom of opinion in the media. It gives publication and transmission licenses, and ensures the respect of the legislation and deontology as regards information and communication matters in Burkina Faso. This institution, during the political campaigns, has the authority to ensure the equilibrium of communication management between political parties or between candidates.

As concerns the media, there are around fifty private radio stations, two private television stations, one public radio and television stations. As regards the written media in the country, there are around ten regular newspapers among which is a public one.


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