Burkina Faso elects civilian president, announces commission

Roch Marc Christian Kabore will be the second civilian president since the West African country gained independence from France in 1960.

AP Photo/Theo Renaut
A election official start writing results on a blackboard after elections in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. Hundreds of voters lined up after morning prayers to vote Sunday in Burkina Faso's first presidential and legislative elections since a popular uprising toppled the West Africa nation's longtime leader last year.

Roch Marc Christian Kabore was elected BurkinaFaso's president, according to preliminary results announced early Tuesday, replacing the transitional government put in place after the West African nation's longtime leader was toppled in a popular uprising last year.

The country's electoral commission said results show Kabore, from the Movement of People for Progress party, won 53.5 percent of the vote, or more than the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff.

Zephirin Diabre came in second place with 29.6 percent of the vote, and Tahirou Barry came in third with 3 percent.

Electoral commission president Barthelemy Kere said 60 percent of the country's 5.5 million registered voters participated in Sunday's election.

Fourteen candidates took part in the elections to replace the transition government set up after President Blaise Compaore was forced into exile in October 2014 after a 27-year rule. The poll, originally scheduled for October, was postponed after a coup by the presidential guard in September. Transitional President Michel Kafando and the prime minister were restored to power after a week, and the guard was disbanded.

Hundreds of supporters gathered Monday night at Kabore's campaign headquarters as early results showed him likely to win. Diabre joined and congratulated him.

Candidates have seven days to contest the results before the constitutional court finalizes them.

The 58-year-old Kabore was the prime minister and speaker of parliament under Compaore. In January 2014, Kabore and others broke with the president to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Compaore to extend his power.

Kabore will be the second civilian president since the country gained independence from France in 1960 and has faced six coups.

A new electoral code barred Compaore's party candidate from running, however the party could have a strong showing in legislative results which could be announced later Tuesday.

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