Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has won a second term after gaining an outright majority in the first round of elections, the country’s electoral board announced Thursday.
“Mr Kabore… with 57.87 per cent of the vote, is provisionally elected president of (Burkina) Faso in the first round,” said Newton Ahmed Barry, head of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Eddie Komboigo, the candidate of a once-ruling party, came second in Sunday’s vote with 15.48 per cent of the ballot, followed by Zephirin Diabre, considered by pundits to be the best-placed opposition hopeful, with 12.46 per cent.
Kabore, 63, has been under fire for his response to a five-year-old jihadist insurgency that has rolled in from Mali.
But he was the favourite and by winning an overall majority in the first round he avoids a runoff vote in which he would have had to stand against a single candidate backed by a united opposition.
The elections on Sunday were for Burkina’s legislature as well as its presidency, where executive power in the former French colony is concentrated.
The paramount court, the Constitutional Council, has a week in which to confirm the outcome.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso is struggling with a jihadist campaign that has claimed at least 1,200 lives since 2015 and forced around a million people to flee their homes.
Opposition parties say the vote was marked by fraud and flawed procedures, threatening to reject “results stained by irregularities.”
Their complaints include polling stations that either did not open or opened late, insecure handling of ballot boxes and arbitrary changes to voting areas.
Because of the unrest, the election was not held across at least one-fifth of the territory, denying up to 350,000 people the right to vote, according to CENI’s figures.
Pro-Kabore parties on Tuesday argued that all candidates were equally affected by the problems and that in any case these were not on a scale to have any major impact on the result.