The people of Burkina Faso have begun voting in presidential election on Sunday November 22, 2020 under tight security as a result of jihadist insurgency in the Northern part of the country.
About 6.5 million people are expected to vote in Sunday’s election. But nearly 1,500 of the country’s 8,000 villages and 22 of more than 300 communes may not be unable to vote because of the security risks; the electoral commission said polling stations remained shut across much of the north and east to spare lives.
President Roch Kaboré , who has governed Burkina Faso since 2015, is seeking a second five-year term, campaigning on achievements including free health care for children under the age of 5 and paving some of the red dirt roads that snake across the arid West African country.
His main challengers are veteran opposition UPC leader Zéphirin Diabré, and Eddie Komboïgo, standing for the CPD party of ousted former President Blaise Compaoré.
Thirteen candidates are running for president – including the only woman in the race Yéli Monique Kam, former culture minister Tahirou Barry, Gilbert Noël Ouédraogo, Farama Ségui Ambroise and others.
Citizens living abroad, for the first time in Burkina Faso’s history will be eligible to vote, in accordance with demands from the populist uprising that ousted former President Compaoré. Ivory Coast alone is home to more than 1.7m potential voters.