Burkina Faso took a step toward strengthening its democracy with the election on Tuesday of Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who will become the West African country’s second elected civilian president since it became independent from France in 1960.
Hundreds of Kabore’s supporters chanted “Presi, Presi” after preliminary results released Tuesdaygave him an outright win with more than 53 percent of the vote. They cheered inside the Movement of the People for Progress party’s headquarters, where celebrations continued Tuesday, as streets remained calm with a thick layer of dust because of West Africa’s harmattan winds.
The election of Kabore, a former prime minister, is significant for Burkina Faso, because the country has been wracked by coups and nearly 30 years under a military ruler. It also marks a step forward in Africa’s sputtering drive toward democracy. Kabore, who will replace a transitional government, dedicated his victory to those who died in the popular uprising that overthrew President Blaise Compaore last year and during resistance to a failed military coup in September. “To all the victims of the tumultuous history of our country, the nation is grateful,” Kabore said.