Roch Marc Christian Kabore has won Burkina Faso’s presidential election, officials said. The result follows a year of turmoil that saw the West African country’s former leader deposed, and the military attempt a coup.
The African nation’s National Electoral Commission says Kabore received 53.5 percent of the vote in the 14-candidate race. He was a prime minister and president of the National Assembly under longtime leader Blaise Compaore, whose 27-year rule ended last year following an attempted coup by the elite presidential guard.
That threw the landlocked former French colony into chaos and a new election date was pushed back until October 11, 2015. The second-place candidate was Zeiphirin Diabre, a former finance minister and member of the opposition Union for Progress and Change (UPC).
“The people of Burkina Faso have once more shown their profound attachment to democracy by holding a peaceful vote,” said Michaelle Jean, secretary-general of the International Francophonie organization.
The election victory in which power is set to change hands without violence represents a pivotal moment for Burkina Faso, which has been ruled by successive coup leaders since independence in 1960. But this election may represent a break from the past.
“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.
The previous leader, Blaise Compaore, had seized power by force and won four elections, all of which were criticized as flawed. He was toppled by protests after he attempted to amend the constitution to extend his rule even further.
Turnout was about 60 percent and included a relatively high level of participation among women, a fact lauded by UN chief Ban Ki-moon, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said