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Burkina Faso: Voting begins in general election

30th Nov 2015
Burkina Faso: Voting begins in general election
OUAGADOUGOU,  (AA) – Voting in Burkina Faso’s general election has begun, with more than five million people headed to the polls.

Voters are going to elect a new president from among 14 candidates as well as choosing MPs for the 127-seat parliament.

According to some survey results, only two presidential candidates have a real chance of winning: one is former prime minister under Compaore, Roch Marc Kabore, and Zephirin Diabre, a businessman.

According to Burkina Faso Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), a total of 81 parties will present candidates in the general election – 4,870 men and 2,074 women are running for office.

Burkina Faso’s elections will end the transition established after a popular uprising that ousted former president Blaise Compaore in Oct. 2014.

The general national election is the first since former president Compaore was toppled by protests a year ago after 27 years in power.

Michel Kafando was named last year as interim president to lead the country until elections could be held.

However, in September, units from the country’s Presidential Guard, led by Gen. Gilbert Diendere, stormed into a cabinet meeting and arrested Kafando, Isaac Zida, interim prime minister, and a handful of other government ministers.

Following opposition from the country’s military establishment, Kafando and Zida were released and the coup attempt failed.

Just under 20,000 polling stations opened at 6.30 a.m. (0630GMT) and are to close at 6.00 p.m. local time.

Alain Jean-Claude Zagre, Burkina Faso’s security minister, said that more than 20,000 troops have also been deployed to maintain security.

Burkina Faso is an ally of the U.S. and France in the battle against al-Qaeda-linked militants in the Sahel region.

 
Author: Hatice Kesgin
[Photo: People wait in queue outside a polling station to cast their ballots in the general elections in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on November 29, 2015 Photographer: Olympia de Maismont/AA]

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