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Sunday, November 22, 2020, 18:51
Voting begins in Burkina Faso for presidential, legislative elections
By Xinhua
Sunday, November 22, 2020, 18:51 By Xinhua

People line up to vote in Burkina Faso's presidential and legislative elections in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, on Nov 22, 2020. (SOPHIE GARCIA / AP)

OUAGADOUGOU - Voting began Sunday for the parliamentary and presidential elections in Burkina Faso amid a deteriorating security situation.

Polls opened at 6 am local time and will close at 6 pm local time.

In total, 6,490,144 nationals inside and outside Burkina Faso are expected to cast their votes in 21,155 polling stations to elect a new president and deputies to the 127-member parliament

"The Burkinabe are called to the polls to elect the president of (Burkina) Faso for the five-year period 2021-2025, as well as their representatives in the National Assembly. This coupled election marks an important turning point for the consolidation of our democracy," President Roch Marc Christian Kabore tweeted.

In the capital Ouagadougou, long queues of voters were seen in front of polling stations at Bonheur Primary school.

Overshadowed by a growing number of jihadist attacks, polling stations will remain shut in part of the country's northern and eastern regions, according to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI).

A man prepares to cast his ballot in Burkina Faso's presidential and legislative elections at a polling station in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, on Nov 22, 2020. (SOPHIE GARCIA / AP)

In the violence-torn Sahel region, stations will open with a short delay in the communities of Yalgo, Kelbo and Solle, CENI Chairman Newton Ahmed Barry said in a statement issued on Sunday.

In total, 6,490,144 nationals inside and outside Burkina Faso are expected to cast their votes in 21,155 polling stations to elect a new president and deputies to the 127-member parliament.

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Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore casts his ballot in the presidential and legislative elections in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, on Nov 22, 2020. (SOPHIE GARCIA / AP)

Kabore, who has been in power since 2015, is seeking a second term. Thirteen people will run for presidency while 10,652 candidates will compete in the parliamentary election.

READ MORE: Burkina Faso attack threatens gold's final frontier

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has 15 members including Burkina Faso, has deployed 80 electoral observers to witness the elections, while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also called for " a climate of mutual respect during the electoral process".

Provisional results of the first round of the elections will come out by midweek, CENI said. 

The election campaign period of 21 days ahead of the elections had been shaken by a series of terrorist attacks that forced candidates to halt campaigning for some days.

The most deadly attack was an ambush that claimed the lives of 14 militaries and over ten terrorists on Nov 11.


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