Burkina Faso responds to protests over new Senate

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Burkina Faso’s president has called on a government committee to assess plans for a controversial new Senate that spurred large-scale demonstrations last month.

Critics believe Blaise Compaore plans to use the new Senate, approved by lawmakers in May, to change a rule that limits presidents to two five-year terms. Under the current rule, Compaore would not be able to run again once his current term expires in 2015.

Opposition leaders organized large-scale demonstrations against the new Senate last month in the capital of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, the country’s second-largest city.

A statement issued Monday night said Compaore ordered the assessment “in view of the controversy and concerns affecting various sectors of Burkinabe society.”

The committee is due to present its progress report by the end of the month.

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