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Burkinabés urge calm as they await poll results

Local newspaper displayed in Ouagadougou.   -  
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Burkina Faso

Burkinabés await results of Sunday’s presidential elections. Thousands of voters were disenfranchised in the general elections due to security threats, officials said. No votes were cast in one-fifth of this West African nation. President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré is expected to be re-elected in an election supervised by an undisclosed number of troops.

"We are waiting for the results, but it looks like President Kaboré is in the lead and will win in the first round. That's really good for peace. If we have to start the campaign again, it will cause us a lot of problems", Ouagadougou resident, Tarpilga Iloussa said.

For Kader Compaoré, "Well, there will be no challenges. Because the Burkinabés are very tired, yes, very tired. Because of insecurity, there have been deaths. We have really suffered a lot. So if the result comes out, I hope they will all accept it."

The Independent Electoral Commission reported that a "certain number" of polling stations for the presidential vote had been closed after threats were made against them.

President of the commission, Newton Ahmed Barry later told reporters that between 300,000 and 350,000 of about 6.5 million voters had not cast their ballots due to "security threats."

Jihadist-related violence has forced one million people, five percent of the 20 million population, from their homes in the last two years. At least 1,200 have been killed since 2015.

The security crisis, ignited by the presence of the regional offshoots of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, dominated the campaign in the landlocked West African country.

Most of the 12 opposition candidates running against Kaboré have criticized the incumbent's failure to stem the bloodshed.

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