In Burkina Faso, electoral observers are readying themselves for this weekend’s landmark polls. Codel, a grouping of civil society organisations, is deploying some 5,000 observers to monitor elections temporarily derailed by a failed coup attempt in September. The polls are seen as key to the country’s transition to democracy following last year’s ousting of strongman Blaire Compaore. “We’ve living in a very extraordinary time in Burkina,” Ismael Diallo, a member of Codel’s expert committee, told RFI. “This is the first time in more than 30 years that we don’t know who’ll be president.”
Codel hopes to ensure that the election is transparent and produces results acceptable to all parties. It has set up five permanent offices and 45 focal points across the country from which to manage a team of 5,000 observers.
Observers will monitor the situation at various polling stations and report via text message on questions such as staffing and electoral materials. These reports will be collated by a 50-strong team at Codel headquarters who will flag potential issues or problems that need to be dealt with.