Polls Close in Burkina Faso Elections

Polls closed in Burkina Faso’s national elections Sunday, as much of the nation voted under the looming threat of jihadist violence.

Results are expected to be available midweek.

President Roch Kabore who is running for a second five-year term against 12 other candidates has promised to secure and stabilize the country.

Kabore, 63, is expected to win, although he is in a tight race with opposition candidates, former finance minister Zephirin Diabre, 61, of the Progress and Change Party and the runner-up in 2015 election; and Eddie Komboigo, chairman of the Congress for Democracy and Progress party of former president Blaise Compaore, who was overthrown by a popular uprising in 2014 after 27 years of rule.

However, Kabore must win 51% of the votes cast in the first round to avoid a runoff.

“I call on all Burkinabe to vote, whatever their leaning. It’s about the democracy of Burkina Faso, it’s about development, it’s about peace,” Kabore told reporters after voting.

Opposition candidates Diabre and Komboigo claimed Sunday that the election had been marred by fraud and said they planned to file a complaint on Monday. They did not provide evidence for their claims.

Burkina Faso’s Central Election Commission has said that about 7% of the electorate will not be able to vote for fear of violence in the north and east of the country, that has taken more than 2,000 lives this year alone.

Source: Voice of America