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Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso president calls to respect vote result as opposition cries foul

Tahirou Barry, Ablassé Ouédraogo, Zéphyrin Diabré and  Eddie Komboïgo, presidential candidates in Burkina Faso, during a press conference on November 21, 2020.
Tahirou Barry, Ablassé Ouédraogo, Zéphyrin Diabré and Eddie Komboïgo, presidential candidates in Burkina Faso, during a press conference on November 21, 2020. © Paulina Zidi/RFI

The alliance of parties that support incumbent president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré called on all candidates to “respect the results” of Sunday’s presidential and legislative elections, after an earlier announcement from opposition parties that alleges fraud and irregularities took place during the vote.

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"The APMP (Alliance of the parties of the presidential majority) invites all the actors to respect the results of the ballot boxes", said Benewende Sankara, during a press conference in Ouagadougou on Tuesday.

He also suggested that those candidates with a grievance should take it to court.

On the eve of Sunday’s vote, opposition parties had already claimed that a “massive fraud” was being prepared, and reiterated this on Monday, citing polling stations that did not open or opened late, ballot boxes that weren’t secured during transport, and lack of polling materials or even personnel to run the polling station.

"The shortcomings noted, although regrettable, are not of a magnitude likely to significantly impact the result of the ballot," said Sankara, referring to some irregularities.

One round or two?

Analysts have indicated that this could be a tight race for the presidency, and that the vote might go to a second round.

If Kaboré did not get sufficient votes for a first round win, the opposition said they would unite behind one opposition candidate for the second round.

As of Monday he was leading in the votes, but only 12 of some 360 voting districts had been counted.

Opposition candidates include Zéphirin Diabré, a former finance minister who came in second place during the last elections, as well as Eddie Komboigo, who heads the party of former president Blaise Compaoré.

The elections were held under a number of restrictions, notably the threat of violence from hardline jihadist groups in the country, which have killed at least 1,200 people in five years.

Between 300,000 and 350,000 people were unable to vote in the north of the country on Sunday due to the fear of violence, or because they had fled the area without their voting papers and could not provide identification to vote.

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