Burkina Faso's Kabore edges closer to re-election as lead grows

By Thiam Ndiaga OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore edged closer to re-election on Wednesday despite opposition concerns over the validity of the count, extending a commanding lead with over half of districts reporting results.

Reuters November 26, 2020 00:10:18 IST
Burkina Faso's Kabore edges closer to re-election as lead grows

Burkina Fasos Kabore edges closer to reelection as lead grows

By Thiam Ndiaga

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore edged closer to re-election on Wednesday despite opposition concerns over the validity of the count, extending a commanding lead with over half of districts reporting results.

Tallies posted to the election commission website on Wednesday morning showed Kabore with over 593,000 votes, almost four times as many as his nearest rival, former finance minister Zephirin Diabre.

Having secured 58% of total ballots cast, Kabore is on track to secure enough votes to avoid a second round. The commission began announcing results from additional voting districts late Wednesday afternoon.

Opposition objections to the count complicate an election already troubled by threats from Islamist militants. Hundreds of thousands of citizens were unable to cast ballots on Sunday because their polling stations were closed for fear of violence.

The election commission had paused announcing results on Monday when five opposition representatives from the 15-member commission voiced concern that some districts had not produced manual vote tallies to accompany electronic ones, as required by law.

The five commissioners did not show up for work on Tuesday but returned on Wednesday, even as they questioned the validation of results in their absence.

"Public opinion and political actors will judge the scope and validity of such validations and proclamations," they said in a statement.

An observer mission from the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) said on Wednesday the election was peaceful and largely free of incident.

Kabore, who won election in 2015, has said the vote went smoothly. The 63-year-old president campaigned on achievements such as free healthcare for children under the age of five.

He also vowed to do more to address rising insecurity caused by groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, which are also active in neighbouring countries in West Africa's semi-arid Sahel region.

(Reporting by Thiam Ndiaga; Writing by Hereward Holland and Aaron Ross; Editing by Bate Felix, William Maclean/Mark Heinrich)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.