Burkino Faso Gets Interim President (Photo)

Political and military leaders in Burkina Faso have chosen a former foreign minister, Michel Kafando, to be the country's interim president. The move follows the signing of a charter on Sunday mapping out a year-long transition to elections. Mr Kafando was one of four possible candidates for the post, including two journalists and an academic. The army took power after President Blaise Compaore was forced to resign on 31 October during mass protests. Lt Col Isaac Zida, who declared himself head of the West African state, has pledged to hand over power to a civilian authority. Negotiations Mr Kafando, 72, was chosen by a special panel composed of religious, military, political, civil and traditional leaders. Negotiations in the capital Ouagadougou continued into the early hours of Monday morning. Mr Kafando's first task will be to name a prime minister who will appoint a 25-member government. Mr Kafando, a former foreign minister and previously Burkina Faso's ambassador to the United Nations, will be barred from standing at the next election. International bodies have threatened sanctions unless civilian rule is restored in Burkina Faso. Col Zida's attempts to suspend the constitution and crack down on dissent sparked fresh unrest late last month. In a communique on Saturday, Col Zida said the constitution was back in force in order to "allow the start of the establishment of a civilian transition". Mr Compaore first seized power in a coup in 1987 and went on to win four disputed elections.