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The situation in Burkina Faso was still tense Friday morning, after the rebel military installed General Gilbert Diendéré as the country's new president Thursday, just three weeks before national elections were set to take place. "So It's Him!" reads the front-page headline of the Burkinabe daily L'Observateur.

Ousted interim President Michel Kafando, who had been held hostage by presidential security forces since Wednesday, was reportedly released. But Prime Minister Isaac Zida, also detained Wednesday, was allegedly still under house arrest.

Several protests took place Friday in the capital Ouagadougou and across the country. Shots were fired and several political parties called on the people for civil disobedience, Jeune Afrique reports. On Thursday, similar protests left at least six people dead and more than 60 injured.

In an editorial, L'Observateur strongly criticized the coup, calling it and its consequences a "tremendous waste," adding, "Whatever the reason, the impact of this coup against the transition, only a few weeks away from its end, is disastrous." The events would not only affect democracy in the country, but also "public finances" and the "country's image."

It also described the self-proclaimed president as "anything but new." For a long time, Diendéré was the chief advisor of Blaise Compaoré, the president who was ousted in October 2014. "Is this the confirmation of a long-hidden ambition that was awaiting the right moment to materialize, or rather circumstances that forced the hand of "the man who dislikes power," of which he was the guardian for a long time?" the editorial asks.

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Post-Pandemic Reflections On The Accumulation Of State Power

The public sector has seen a revival in response to COVID-19. This can be a good thing, but must be checked carefully because history tells us of the risks of too much control in the government's hands.

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Medical students protesting at Calcutta Medical Collage and Hospital.

Sudipta Das/Pacific Press via ZUMA
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-Analysis-

NEW DELHI — The COVID-19 pandemic marked the beginning of a period of heightened global tensions, social and economic upheaval and of a sustained increase in state intervention in the economy. Consequently, the state has acquired significant powers in managing people’s personal lives, starting from lockdowns and quarantine measures, to providing stimulus and furlough schemes, and now, the regulation of energy consumption.

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