Visit Al Jazeera English

INTERNATIONAL
ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP / GETTY IMAGES
Kabore elected Burkina Faso president
Roch Marc Christian Kabore, a former PM and head of the National Assembly, is the first elected leader in decades
November 30, 2015 10:06PM ET Updated 10:45PM ET
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 on Tuesday.
The election of the former prime minister represents a pivotal moment for the West African nation, which has been ruled by leaders who came to power in coups for most of its history since independence from France in 1960.
Kabore served as prime minister and head of the National Assembly under President Blaise Compaore, who was toppled by an uprising in October 2014 after 27 years in power. Kabore split with Compaore early last year and formed an opposition party.
"My first thought is to recognize the honor of this high office and to feel the weight of its great responsibility," Kabore said in a speech to thousands of his supporters after being declared winner.
Provisional results from Sunday's election showed Kabore won 53.5 percent of the vote to defeat former Finance Minister Zephirin Diabre, who scored 29.7 percent, and 12 other candidates, the electoral commission said. Turnout was about 60 percent. The outright majority means there will be no run-off.
"This election went off in calm and serenity, which shows the maturity of the people of BurkinaFaso," Barthelemy Kere, president of the Burkina Faso electoral commission, told a news conference.
Crowds celebrated the news in the streets of the capital, Ouagadougou, honking car and motorbike horns.
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.
The vote could serve as an example of democratic transition to other countries in Africa, where veteran rulers in Burundi and Congo Republic changed the constitution this year to pave the way for a fresh term in office.
Kabore heads the Movement of People for Progress (MPP), made up of disaffected former allies of Compaore.
Many people say their priority is for the new president to promote economic growth in the landlocked country, which produces gold and cotton but remains impoverished. Corruption and justice are also important issues.
The election was pushed back from Oct. 11 because of an abortive coup in September by members of the elite presidential guard, in which transitional President Michel Kafando and his prime minister were taken hostage.
That coup cost more than $50 million in revenue, trimming growth by 0.3 percentage point. The guard has since been disbanded.
Kafando will step down once the results are confirmed by the constitutional court and the new leader is sworn in. A parallel election for the National Assembly also took place on Sunday.
The 58-year-old Kabore will be the second civilian president since the country gained independence from France in 1960.
A new electoral code barred Compaore's party candidate from running, however the party could have a strong showing in legislative results which could be announced later Tuesday.
Wire services
SHARE THIS:
Burkina Faso’s president resigns amid wave of violent unrest
Statement comes just hours after Blaise Compaore seemingly vowed to stay in power as head of transitional government
Spirit of ‘Africa’s Che Guevara’ found in Burkina Faso uprising
In the weeks leading up to President Compaore's ouster, Burkinabes turned to slain leader Thomas Sankara for inspiration
In Burkina Faso, a mansion offers a glimpse into the revolution
In the wake of the government's ouster, citizens transformed the home of the deposed president's brother into a museum
RELATED
PLACES
Africa, Burkina Faso
EDITOR'S PICKS
Scalia’s death could affect court decisions long before his seat is filled
Deadly strikes on Syrian schools, hospitals denounced as ‘war crime’
New black mayors make a difference, one Georgia town at a time
Renewed deficit hysteria based on flimsy CBO projection
A blurry line divides addicts and dealers in heroin underworld
 
NEWS
OPINION
VIDEO
SHOWS
About
Our Mission, Vision and Values
Code of Ethics
Social Media Policy
Leadership
Contact Us
Press Releases
Awards and Accomplishments
Visit Al Jazeera English
Mobile
Newsletter
RSS
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Cookie Policy
Cookie Preferences
Terms of Use
Subscribe to YouTube Channel
FAQ
Community Guidelines
Site Index
© 2016 Al Jazeera America, LLC. All rights reserved.
×
Al Jazeera America News
Al Jazeera America
FREE - In Google Play
VIEW
You rely on Al Jazeera for truth and transparency
We understand that your online privacy is very important and consenting to our collection of some personal information takes great trust. We ask for this consent because it allows Al Jazeera to provide an experience that truly gives a voice to the voiceless. You have the option to decline the cookies we automatically place on your browser but allowing Al Jazeera and our trusted partners to use cookies or similar technologies helps us improve our content and offerings to you. You can change your privacy preferences at any time by selecting ‘Cookie preferences’ at the bottom of your screen.To learn more, please view our Cookie Policy.
NEWSOPINIONVIDEOSHOWSSCHEDULELiveOpinionShowsLive