Burkina Faso Elections: Roch Marc Kabore Named New President
Roch Marc Kabore, the former prime minister of Burkina Faso, was named the winner of the nation’s first presidential election on Tuesday since a coup earlier this year.
Kabore, who served under ousted president Blaise Compaore, will become the country’s first new leader in decades, the Independent National Electoral Commission said on Tuesday.
His victory represents a pivotal moment for the west African nation, which has been ruled by leaders who came to power in coups for most of its history since independence from France in 1960.
Kabore was also president of the National Assembly under Compaore, who was toppled by an uprising in October 2014 after 27 years in power.
He broke with Compaore early last year and formed an opposition party.
Hundreds of supporters gathered on Monday night at Kabore’s campaign headquarters as early results showed him likely to win.
“We must get to work immediately. Together we must serve the country,” he told a crowd of several thousand supporters outside the building, pledging his “determination to open up the opportunities for a better tomorrow”, Reuters reported.
Provisional results from Sunday’s election showed Kabore won 53.5% of the vote to defeat former finance minister Zephirin Diabre, who scored 29.7%, and 12 other candidates, the electoral commission said. Turnout was about 60%.
“This election went off in calm and serenity, which shows the maturity of the people of Burkina Faso,” Barthelemy Kere, president of the electoral commission, told a news conference. The outright majority means there will be no run-off.
Compaore seized power by force and won four elections, all of which were disputed. He was toppled by protests when he tried to change the constitution to extend his rule even further.
A popular uprising in October 2014 forced Compaore to resign as president.
Kabore, a banker by profession and a devout Catholic, is seen as a consensus figure by some and an opportunist by others.