AFRICA/BURKINA FASO - Re-election in the first round of outgoing President

Friday, 27 November 2020 elections   jihadists   local churches  

Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides) - The outgoing President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, was re-elected with 57.87% of the votes, after a peaceful election which however was marked by difficulties in certain areas, due to the terrorist threat and logistical problems (see Fides, 23/11/2020), difficulties that explain the relatively low turnout, around 50% (compared to 60% in 2015), i.e. 2.9 million voters out of 5.8 million voters.
For five years, Burkina Faso has had to face the jihadist violence that has caused more than 1,600 deaths and 1 million displaced, but despite the not always positive outcome of its Presidency, the Burkinabé preferred to reconfirm the outgoing Head of State, choosing continuity, compared to an opposition divided between twelve opponents, including some representatives of the old regime of former President Blaise Compaoré, who had to leave office after a popular revolt in 2014.
Due to the threat from jihadist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS), the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) classified almost one fifth of the territory in the red zone, automatically excluding it from the ballot on the basis of the amendment to the electoral law approved on 25 August which provides that in the event of "force majeure or exceptional circumstances", only the results of open polling stations are taken into consideration.
More than 2,000 polling stations (out of 21,154), mainly in the north and east of the country, were unable to open on Sunday 22 November due to insecurity, for a total of about half a million voters who were unable to exercise their right to vote.
The Catholic Church, through the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, provided 400 election observers. Their reports do not indicate particular problems that may affect the correctness of the vote, as attested by other national and international organizations. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 27/11/2020)