Burkina Faso president resigns amid unrest

Burkina Faso's president of 27 years, Blaise Compaore, has resigned.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   Oct. 31, 2014 at 10:27 AM
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OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Blaise Compaore, president of Burkina Faso, announced his resignation Friday amid violent unrest.

Tens of thousands of citizens took to the streets Friday to demand the president resign from the position he has held for 27 years.

Friday's massive street protests followed a day of violent unrest when protesters stormed Parliament on Thursday, setting fire to it along with city hall and the headquarters of the ruling party, in reaction to a proposed constitutional amendment that would extend the presidential term limit and allow Compaore to run for office again.

Compaore announced his immediate resignation in a statement that was read on television, acknowledging that it would create a "power vacuum." He reiterated his support for "free and transparent" elections within 90 days.

The president's decision to resign contrasted markedly with statements made late Thursday that he intended to remain in power to head the interim government.

He had attempted to placate protesters' demands for his resignation on Thursday by withdrawing the controversial piece of legislation, and agreeing to a democratically elected government of national unity.

It was unclear who would step in to lead the government.

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