Citizens of Burkina Faso massively trooped to the polls on Sunday to choose a new president and members of the parliament, hoping to turn the page on a year of turmoil during which the west African nation’s people ousted a dictator and repelled a military coup.
Amidst tight security, about five million in the nation of 18 million citizens cast their ballots for a new leader for the first time in almost three decades, though there were no reports of any disturbances.
With the closure of polls, the president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) Barthelemy Kere said the vote had been “generally satisfactory”.
Burkina’s former president Blaise Compaore was forced to go on exile following mass street protests in October 2014 against his bid to change the constitution to extend his 27-year rule.
A transitional government was put in place until fresh elections could be held.
But the country was plunged into fresh uncertainty in September this year, weeks before a planned October 11 presidential vote, when elite army leaders close to Compaore tried to seize power.
Transitional president Michel Kafando hailed the vote as a victory for the country and its young people, who “expressed themselves and expressed their desire for change, for democracy and freedom” by ousting Compaore.
– Input from AFP