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Saturday 24 February 2018

Ex-PM Kabore voted Burkina Faso's post-coup president

Election officials count ballots in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (AP)
Election officials count ballots in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (AP)

Roch Marc Christian Kabore has become Burkina Faso's president in the first election since the nation's long-time leader was toppled in a popular uprising last year.

The former prime minister and speaker of parliament, polled more than 53.5% of the vote. A candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to avoid a run-off. Zephirin Diabre came second with 29.6% and Tahirou Barry was third with 3%.

Electoral commission president Barthelemy Kere said 60% of the West African country's 5.5 million registered voters participated in Sunday's election.

Fourteen candidates took part in the elections to replace the transition government set up after President Blaise Compaore was forced into exile in October 2014 after a 27-year rule.

The poll, originally scheduled for October, was postponed after a coup by the presidential guard in September. Transitional president Michel Kafando and the prime minister were restored to power after a week and the guard was disbanded.

Hundreds of supporters gathered at Mr Kabore's Movement of People for Progress party campaign headquarters as early results showed him likely to win. Mr Diabre joined and congratulated him.

Candidates have seven days to challenge the results before the constitutional court finalises them.

In January 2014, Mr Kabore and others broke with President Compaore to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow him to extend his power.

Mr Kabore will be the second civilian president since the country gained independence from France in 1960 and has faced six coups.

A new electoral code barred Mr Compaore's party candidate from running, but the party could have a strong showing in legislative results which may be announced later.

Press Association

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