Burkina president's party wins municipal elections

Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kabore casts his vote in municipal elections in Ouagadougou (AFP Photo/Ahmed Ouoba) (AFP/File)

Ouagadougou (AFP) - The party of Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has won municipal elections seen as a key step in the country's transition to democracy from the authoritarian rule of ousted strongman Blaise Compaore.

Provisional results from Sunday's polls were published late Wednesday, with final results expected to be released by the state council after a period of a week open for disputes.

The president's People's Movement for Progress (MPP) won 11,167 councillors out of 19,222 positions, ahead the Union for Progress and Change (UPC) which took 3,051 seats, the independent national election commission said.

The party Kabore founded in January 2014 won almost all the major cities with only Dori, capital of the Sahel region on the border with Niger and Mali, likely to escape him.

The Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) of ousted president Compaore was in distant third place with some 2,134 municipal councillors.

The CDP had ruled almost all the country's municipal councils for 20 years since 1995.

Voter turnout was just 47.65 percent, the lowest recorded since the municipal elections were first held in Burkina Faso.

Just three rural municipalities, grouping some 20,000 voters, were unable to vote due to political violence and looting of election materials.

The vote was initially scheduled for January 31 but was postponed following January 15 jihadist attacks that killed 30 people in Ouagadougou.

Some 5.5 million people were eligible to cast ballots for some 20,000 municipal councillors, who will then choose mayors for 368 towns and rural communes.

The elections were the first local polls in the impoverished west African country since Compaore was overthrown in a popular uprising in October 2014 after ruling the country with an iron fist for 27 years.

The subsequent interim government dissolved all municipal councils set up under Compaore and replaced the mayors with non-elected prefects.

Presidential elections last November were won by Kabore, a leading figure in Compaore's ousting who had held a number of posts under the former president before falling out with him.

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