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World Burkina: the opposition increases the pressure on the eve of the presidential election

03:15  22 november  2020
03:15  22 november  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

Burkina Faso counts ballots; extremist threats affected vote

  Burkina Faso counts ballots; extremist threats affected vote OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Votes are being counted in Burkina Faso after Sunday’s presidential and legislative elections, where threats of extremist violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State prevented parts of the country from casting ballots. Election workers began the counting after polls closed by holding up the ballots up for observers and marking the votes on a chalkboard beside the candidate's name. Preliminary results are expected within the next two days.While there were no reported incidents of major attacks, threats of violence prevented people from casting ballots in hard-hit parts of the country, in the North, Sahel and East regions.

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Le chef de file de l'opposition au Burkina, Zéphirin Diabré, dénonce lors d'une conférence de presse le 21 novembre 2020 à Ouagadougou des fraudes massives à la veille de la présidentielle. © OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT The leader of the opposition in Burkina, Zéphirin Diabré, denounces during a press conference on November 21, 2020 in Ouagadougou massive fraud on the eve of the presidential election.

The opposition mounted the pressure on Saturday in Burkina Faso on the eve of the elections, accusing the power of preparing a "massive fraud" and threatening not to recognize the results in the event of victory in the first round of outgoing President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.

Des partisans du président burkinabè Marc Christian Kaboré, lors d'un meeting électoral à Dori, le 10 novembre 2020. © OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT Supporters of Burkinabè President Marc Christian Kaboré, during an electoral rally in Dori, November 10, 2020.

This announcement comes at a time when the country is going through its darkest hours since independence in 1960, undermined by attacks by jihadist groups that have left at least 1,200 dead in five years.

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The list includes the 2000 presidential election , in which problems with absentee ballots in Florida were a little-noticed footnote to other issues Of course, these figures leave out voter fraud not involving immigrants, and so is surely a significant under estimation of the total amount of fraud that takes place.

Sign of the ambient tension, an American citizen was killed Saturday by security forces in front of a military camp in Ouagadougou.

"It is a regrettable accident (...) Faced with his refusal to comply, followed by an attempt to escape, they (soldiers) proceeded to shoot (...) He was immediately evacuated to a health center where he unfortunately died, "said a Burkinabè security source. A US diplomatic source has confirmed the death of a US national.

Carte du Burkina Faso © Sophie RAMIS Map of Burkina Faso

The situation is particularly tense around the camps and military bases often targeted by the jihadists in the provinces but also once in Ouagadougou. On March 2, 2018, simultaneous attacks targeting the army staff in the capital and the French embassy claimed the lives of eight soldiers on the staff.

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The leader of the opposition Zéphirin Diabré, main challenger to the outgoing president, and five other candidates denounced during a press point in Ouagadougou frauds in the organization of the double presidential and legislative elections on Sunday.

Un partisan de l'ancien président burkinabè Blaise Compaore brandit sa photo à Ouagadougou, le 19 novembre 2020. © OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT A supporter of former Burkinabè President Blaise Compaore brandishes his photo in Ouagadougou, November 19, 2020.

"It is clear that there is a great operation orchestrated by the power in place", declared Mr. Diabré, evoking "a massive fraud to legitimize" a victory in the first round of President Kaboré and threatening not to "accept results marred by irregularity".

"It is absolutely inconceivable after having traveled all over Burkina Faso to think of having a winning party from the first round", hammered Mr. Diabré, with Eddie Komboïgo, candidate of the party of former President Blaise Compaoré and presented by his side. as the third man in the poll.

Burkina: the opposition increases the pressure on the eve of the presidential election

 Burkina: the opposition increases the pressure on the eve of the presidential election © OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT The leader of the opposition in Burkina, Zéphirin Diabré, denounces during a press conference on November 21, 2020 in Ouagadougou massive fraud on the eve of the presidential election.

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Blaise Compaoré's Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), which was banned from voting in 2015, is indeed back, the former president seeming to benefit from a certain comeback in public opinion Burkinabè.

The Kaboré clan promised, as in 2015, a victory in the first round of this ballot considered to be the most open in the history of Burkina, a very poor agricultural and mining country in West Africa, which has experienced multiple coups d'etat since independence.

Saturday evening, he "refuted" the "allegations of fraud announced by the opposition to prepare the spirits for the publication of the results", according to the president of the presidential party, Simon Compaoré, affirming not needing "of any fraud to win elections ".

- "Haunting" of the second round -

A "one-shot KO" victory would allow Mr. Kaboré to avoid a second round against a candidate supported by the entire opposition, a "haunting", according to the professor of political science Drissa Traoré.

In 2015, the party "had achieved this feat (a victory in the first round) but it was above all thanks to its kingmaker", the late president of the presidential party Salif Diallo, renowned political strategist, who died in 2017, he said.

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There has never been a second round in a presidential election in Faso so far.

Friday during his last campaign meeting, President Kaboré had mocked these accusations of fraud, already made by Mr. Diabré: "How can we anticipate fraud?", Asked the president in front of tens of thousands of activists.

He had made fun of "those who no longer even know how elections go."

- Darkest hours -

This rise in pressure on Saturday occurs after a campaign without real enthusiasm, apart from the meager excitement of meetings where the presence of thousands of people was "motivated" by a small banknote.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hailed the "climate of mutual respect during the electoral process".

Some 6.5 million Burkinabè registered on the electoral rolls must elect their president and their deputies.

The number of people displaced by these attacks has increased exponentially in two years to reach one million, or 5% of the Burkinabè population, entire swathes of the territory beyond the control of the State.

The election will not be able to be held in at least a fifth of the territory, the fear of jihadist attacks on the day of the vote being in all minds.

Members of the security forces, the number of which has not been disclosed, have been deployed throughout the country.

ab-ah / de / thm / lbx

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This is interesting!