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26 Nov 2020 | 05:20 PM UTC

Burkina Faso: Electoral Commission announces President Kabore’s win November 26 /update 3

Burkina Faso News Alert

Electoral Commission announces President Kabore re-elected for a second five-year term on November 26; monitor developments, avoid associated gatherings and protests

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/26/2020, 12:00 AM until 11/28/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Ouagadougou). COUNTRY/REGION Burkina Faso

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Event

On Thursday, November 26, it was announced that President Roch Christian Marc Kabore has been re-elected for a second five-year term as president of Burkina Faso after gaining an outright majority in the first round of elections. The Constitutional Court has yet to confirm the results released by the electoral commission. Kabore won 58 percent of the vote, his biggest rival, Eddie Komboigo of the former ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress, reportedly won 16 percent.

The presidential election passed relatively peacefully; however, long-running security concerns in some areas of the country created significant voting problems. Official turnout figures indicate that just over half of those registered to vote took part in the poll. At least 1334 polling stations in the northern Sahel region and eastern areas were unable to open due to security concerns, whilst dozens of others were reportedly forced to close early after voters were threatened by armed groups. The polling problems highlighted the overall security challenges in many rural areas of the country, where multiple Islamist groups remain active and have presented a serious challenge to government control of almost a fifth of the country, but opposition groups have heavily criticized the Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni) for the failings.

Disputes over the conduct of the election and announced results are likely to increase the risk of unrest across Burkina Faso in the medium term, with a realistic possibility that opposition groups will organize rallies and protests in Ouagadougou and other urban centers.

Context

On Monday, November 23, a coalition of seven opposition released a joint statement highlighting allegations of irregularities in the November 22 presidential election. The challenge came as results for the first districts to declare were announced on Monday, with incumbent President Kabore reported to have taken an early lead. However, the opposition bloc called for the announcement of local results by commune whilst claims of irregularities, including the mishandling of voting materials and insecure transport of ballot boxes, are investigated.

Incumbent President Roch Kabore was seen as the strong favorite going into Sunday's presidential election as he sought to secure a second five-year term. Despite the security challenges which have plagued his presidency and defined the election debates and policies, the opposition has remained heavily divided, with 13 candidates challenging Kabore for the presidency. Whilst the majority of opposition candidates have suggested negotiations with extremist groups, Kabore has remained steadfastly opposed to talks, a position backed by France which maintains a strong military presence in the country.

Advice

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 following the vote and minimize time spent in the vicinity of polling stations and political party offices, particularly during the announcement of results.

 

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