Presidential and legislative elections are due to take place on Sunday, November 22. Thirteen candidates will compete in the first round of the presidential election and, should no candidate obtain an absolute majority, a run-off election will take place within 15 days of the release of the final results of the first round. Polling stations will open on Sunday from 06:00 to 18:00 (local time), with the provisional results expected to be announced within 72 hours of the polls.
On Sunday, November 8, a member of the ruling People's Movement for Progress party was attacked in Goudebo (Gorom; Dori; Sahel region). Reports indicate that on the morning of Sunday, gunmen attacked the vehicle he was traveling in, killing his driver; the party member was unhurt.
Political demonstrations and gatherings, particularly those associated with opposition groups, are highly likely to attract an increased security presence and cause localized travel and business disruptions. Associated violence is also to be anticipated.
Burkina Faso's Constitutional Council on Saturday, November 7, reportedly stated that voting would not take place in nearly a fifth of the country's territory due to the presence of militant groups and the absence of administrative officials in those areas.
Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore is seeking re-election, and it is widely believed that he will be successful. During the launch of his re-election campaign on Thursday, November 5, president Kabore spoke to a crowd of 25,000 in Bobo-Dioulasso and vowed to fight growing insurgency in the country, along with economic and social upheaval amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Militant insurgency has become an increasingly severe security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces are specifically targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Those in Burkina Faso are advised to remain apprised of the political situation, avoid all public demonstrations and election-related events as a precaution, avoid discussing politically-sensitive topics in public or on social media, and heed all directives issued by the local authorities. Travelers should exercise increased vigilance on election day and in the following days and minimize time spent in the vicinity of polling stations and political party offices, particularly during the announcement of results.
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