Angry people have held a massive rally in Burkina Faso’s capital city of Ouagadougou to protest against plans to let the country’s long-serving president extend his rule.
Hundreds of protesters stormed into the country’s parliament and set it ablaze on Thursday. The Burkinabe parliament was to hold a session on Thursday to vote on a constitutional reform bill which would allow President Blaise Compaore, who has been in power for 27 years, to serve another term of office as the country’s head of state.
The Burkinabe officials cancelled the voting session amid the widespread clashes.
According to reports, the demonstrators have also attacked the country’s state television, ruling party headquarters and city hall in the capital Ouagadougou, ransacking the buildings and setting them on fire as they continue their march toward the prime minister’s office.
The West African country’s military forces have opened fire at demonstrators to curb their advances in the capital. The violent clashes have claimed the life of one protester so far.
Compaore took power in a coup in 1987 and first served two seven-year terms in 1991-98 and 1998-2005 as president.
After a change to the constitution, Compaore was allowed to serve two five-year mandates. In 2010, he won an election that secured his second and final elected five-year term. Opposition leaders claim the polls were rigged.
The 63-year-old Burkinabe president is a staunch ally of Western powers including the United States and France.