Burkina Faso president re-elected by landslide

Published November 25, 2010

| Associated Press

President Blaise Compaore, one of Africa's last remaining 'Big Men' who seized power in a bloody coup 23 years ago, was re-elected by a landslide in a vote rejected by the opposition.

The country's electoral commission said Thursday that Compaore won Sunday's presidential poll with 80.2 percent of the vote, according to provisional results.

Compaore, a former army captain who took power in 1987 after a hit squad gunned down the country's former leader in his office, was widely expected to win the election in the landlocked nation.

On Tuesday, four of the seven candidates in the race said they would not recognize the poll's results, claiming the vote was rigged in Compaore's favor. They cited serious irregularities that allowed ineligible people to vote and asked that results be invalidated.

"We are happy," said Compaore's campaign director Assimi Koanda. "This results shows the confidence, the loyalty and fidelity of the populations to our candidate. Not only does the population accept what he has done before, but also adheres to his coming program."

His closest competitor, Hama Diallo, received 8.2 percent of the vote.

Opposition parties have 48 hours from the time the results are released to file a complaint. Earlier on Thursday, a judge ruled that some voting cards used in Sunday's election 'were illegal' in response to a lawsuit filed last week challenging the legality of the voting materials.

"The cards were not in conformity with the electoral code. People have voted with illegal cards," Judge Rene Bagoro, the president of the administrative tribunal told The Associated Press by telephone. He said the cards were missing key information such as place of birth.

The suit was filed by four opposition parties who argued that the voting card, which mentions only date of birth, could have led to massive fraud. In Burkina Faso, many people share the same last name, making it difficult to establish identity without other information.

Stanislas Benewinde Sankara, one of the opposition candidates, had refused to cast his ballot on Sunday in protest over the irregular voting card.

Opposition parties, who did not attend the ceremony, called for the invalidation of the results, the resignation of the president of the election commission and the holding of new elections.

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