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Burkina Faso’s Kabore Re-elected In Vote Marred By Insurgency

Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore. /Getty Images

 

Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore secured a second term after winning 57.9% of the votes by a landslide in the Nov.22 presidential elections.

Opposition groups however questioned the results, saying the vote was marked by fraud.

Kabore, 63, appears set to lead the landlocked West African nation for another five years.

His closest two rivals, Eddie Komboigo, the candidate of the former ruling party, and Zephirin Diabre, a former finance minister, obtained 15.5% and 12.5% respectively, the head of the electoral commission, Newton Ahmed Barry, told reporters Thursday.

Five members of the electoral commission refused to participate in the announcement of the results after a group of opposition parties, including those led by Diabre and Komboigo, alleged massive fraud in the run-up to the vote at a Monday press conference in the capital, Ouagadougou.

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Kabore campaigned on achievements such as free healthcare for children under five and road building. But his successes were overshadowed by a series of large-scale attacks on civilians and the army.

He faces the difficult task of tackling escalating attacks by armed groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, which have made large swathes of the gold producer ungovernable.

Nearly 5,000 people have been killed and more than one million have been forced to flee their homes since Kabore swept to power on a wave of optimism in 2015.

Security concerns barred the electoral commission from registering voters in 17% of municipalities, particularly near the northern border with Mali.

According to the National Human Rights Commission, hundreds of thousands of voters couldn’t cast ballots on the voting day because polling stations didn’t open or were forced to close amid security concerns in the Soum and Est regions.

Kabore first took office in 2015, a year after an interim government organized elections in the wake of a popular uprising that forced regional kingpin Blaise Compaore from power.

Under Compaore, who ruled for 27 years, Burkina Faso became one of the most stable countries in West Africa.

Compaore’s ouster plunged the military and the intelligence service into disarray and paved the way for Islamist militants based in Mali to gain a foothold in the northeast. Their expansion has since led to a proliferation of local militia and an increase of abuse of civilians by security forces, according to Human Rights Watch.

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Written by PH

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