How will internally displaced persons vote in Burkina Faso?
The deterioration of the security situation in the country of upright men has forced populations to move towards more secure areas. To date, according to the government, there are more than 600,000 internally displaced people in five regions with high security challenges: the Boucle du Mouhoun, the East, the Center-North, the North and the Sahel. As the year 2020 is an electoral year (presidential and legislative), one wonders how the votes of these people who no longer reside in their usual leaving locality, will be considered.
To answer this question, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), the body in charge of organizing the elections, commissioned a study on the five regions mentioned above in which massive displacement of populations is observed. Out of the 22 provinces covered by the study, 20 of them are affected by the phenomenon of mass placement. This study proposes two options, namely the counting votes of internally displaced persons in their leaving locality or their inclusion in the electoral operations of the host locality.
Hence, if the votes are counted in the leaving locality, they will no longer be counted in the host locality. This will undoubtedly help to balance the electorate by giving the displaced people the opportunity to appoint their local executives and to avoid the risk of having some villages without municipal councillors; especially when the security situation stabilizes. The second proposal aims to count the voices of the displaced persons in the host locality. For this, displaced persons holding old voting cards will replace them with new cards which will provide information about the host locality.
Whatever is decided, the voices of the internally displaced will be considered.