Burkina Faso votes in free elections today
Burkina Faso is going to the polls today just over a year since President Blaise Compaoré was ousted from office. Since then a transitional administration has been running the country and, notably, none of the transitional government have been allowed to stand in the general election.
The general election, which will elect a president and National Assembly, was due to be held on 11th October but was delayed following an attempted coup d’état on 17th September.
There are 14 candidates standing for the post of president and they need to gain an overall majority of more than 50% to avoid a second round runoff which, if required, will take place 15 days after the results of the first round have been announced.
Of the 14 candidates standing seven are known to have links with the previous president.
Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of the People’s Movement for Progress (MPP) is a frontrunner. He set up his party in January 2014, but had been a long standing minister, first as Minister of Transport and Communications in 1989 and then Prime Minister from 1994 to 1996.
Zéphirin Diabré of the Union for Progress and Reform (UPC) is another front runner. He set up the party in 2010 after he fell out with President Compaoré. He had been Minister of Finance and Economy.
Another candidate, Bénéwendé Stanislas Sankara who leads the Union for Rebirth/Sankarist Movement (UNIR/MS) is no relation of Thomas Sankara, the former president who was assassinated in a coup led by Blaise Compaoré. However, he has invoked the memory of Sankara and is running on a Sankarist platform.
In the election for the 127 seats in the National Assembly there are 99 parties and alliances standing. The deputies are elected in two ways; 11 by a list system whereby between two and nine deputies are elected from each of the 45 provincial constituencies. The remaining 16 seats are elected from a national list.
There are 5,517,015 eligible voters and they will vote between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time across 17,898 polling stations. There is no out of country voting.
The full results should be known within seven days although partial results are likely within 24 hours.