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B' Faso elections: Kabore leads in partial results

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ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP or licensors

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who is seeking a second term, was ahead of his opponents on Wednesday, according to the partial results of the November 22 presidential election announced by the National Independent Electoral Commission (Céni).

According to the provisional results from 196 communes (out of 368) by the Céni, Mr. Kaboré received 58.14% of the vote, against 14.25% for the leader of the opposition, Zephirin Diabré and 13.62% for Eddie Komboïgo, the president of the former ruling party.

The Céni has one week to announce the results.

President Kaboré, often accused of "inaction" in the face of jihadist attacks, is aiming, as in 2015, for a victory in the first round of this election considered to be the most open in the history of Burkina Faso, a poor West African country that has experienced multiple coups d'état since its independence.

A victory in the first round would enable it to avoid a second round against a candidate supported by the entire opposition.

The presidential and legislative elections took place on Sunday under high security tension, with Burkina Faso experiencing its darkest hours since independence, undermined by attacks by jihadist groups that have killed at least 1,200 people in five years.

The Burkinabe opposition said Monday that the double voting was "riddled with fraud" and threatened to "not accept results tainted by irregularities. It had already stated, on the eve of the election, that a "massive fraud" was in preparation.

Among the grievances cited by the opposition were the non-opening or late opening of polling stations, the unsecured transportation of ballot boxes, the lack of materials or personnel, and the arbitrary modification of the mapping of polling stations.

The parties of the presidential majority called Tuesday for "respect for the results" of the election, considering that "the shortcomings noted, although regrettable, are not of a magnitude likely to significantly impact the outcome of the election".

An opposition demonstration, initially scheduled for Wednesday morning in front of the center for the compilation and consolidation of results, was finally cancelled.

A tripartite mission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), present in Burkina to observe the vote, met with members of the opposition and the majority for "preventive diplomacy", according to a member of the mission.

The elections could not take place on at least one-fifth of the territory, depriving between 300,000 and 350,000 people of voting, according to the electoral commission.

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