Roch Marc Kabore was proclaimed the winner of the presidential election in Burkina Faso and will become the country’s first new leader in decades, the Independent National Electoral Commission said yesterday.
The election of the former prime minister represents a pivotal moment for a West African nation that has been ruled by leaders who came to power in coups for most of its history since independence from France in 1960.
Kabore was also president of the National Assembly under President Blaise Compaore, who was toppled by an uprising in October 2014 after 27 years in power. He split with Compaore early last year and formed an opposition party.
Provisional results from Sunday’s election showed Kabore won 53.5 per cent of the vote to defeat former Finance Minister Zephirin Diabre, who scored 29.7 per cent, and 12 other candidates, the electoral commission said. Turnout was about 60 per cent.
“This election went off in calm and serenity, which shows the maturity of the people of Burkina Faso,” Barthelemy Kere, president of the electoral commission, told a news conference.
The outright majority means there will be no run-off.
Compaore seized power by force and won four elections, all of which were disputed. He was toppled by protests when he tried to change the constitution to extend his rule even further.