Elections in Burkina Faso

re posted from                         Presstv.com

Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:39PM
Burkina Faso's presidential candidate Zephirin Diabre casts his vote for the presidential election at the polling station in Ouagadougou on November 29, 2015. (AFP photo)
Burkina Faso’s presidential candidate Zephirin Diabre casts his vote for the presidential election at the polling station in Ouagadougou on November 29, 2015. (AFP photo)

Voters in Burkina Faso are heading to the polls to elect a new president and parliament after a year of political turmoil.

People formed long lines at voting stations in the capital, Ouagadougou, and other major cities across the West African country on Sunday morning.

The government figures show that some 5.5 million people are eligible to cast their votes to choose a new leader for the first time in almost three decades.

More than a dozen candidates are standing for the presidency and opinion polls suggest that Roch Marc Christian Kabore and Zephirin Diabre are the front-runners.

Hundreds of troops have been deployed across the African country to prevent any incident of violence.

Burkina Faso’s security forces patrol in the streets of Ouagadougou on November 28, 2015, on the eve of the country’s presidential elections. (AFP photo)

The polls close at 18:00 GMT and electoral commission says provisional results must be known by Monday evening. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, a run-off vote will be held.

The people are hoping to turn the page after a year of turmoil during which they ousted long-time ruler Blaise Compaore and repelled a military coup. He was forced to flee the country following mass street protests in October 2014 against his bid to change the Constitution to extend his 27-year rule.

Citizens say it could be the most open and democratic vote in the country’s history, because no incumbent is on the ballot.

“I am happy to vote since there is no outgoing president and the elections bear my hopes of a better future with the president I am going to vote for,” Associated Press quoted  Tiama Gasse, a 50-year-old trader, who cast his vote at a primary school in Nakebzanga in Burkina Faso’s north.

The country was thrown into turmoil again in September when members of the elite presidential guard led a short-lived coup and toppled the transitional government. The attempt failed and the guard was disbanded by the security forces.