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President's allies keep majority in Burkina vote
by Staff Writers
Ouagadougou (AFP) Dec 8, 2012

Parties backing Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore maintained their overall majority in legislative elections, provisional results showed, but the opposition cried fraud in the capital Ouagadougou.

Compaore's allies won 97 seats in the new 127-seat assembly, with 70 going to his Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), which has ruled the country since a 1987 coup, according to the complete provisional results published late Friday.

The regime's comfortable majority in Sunday's polls nonetheless represents a drop from the 99 seats it held in the outgoing 111-seat legislative assembly.

"The poll lacks credibility in Ouagadougou, that's very flagrant," Nathanael Ouadraogo, national campaign director of the opposition Union for Progress and Change (UPC), told AFP Friday, denouncing "fraud and massive irregularities".

The two-year-old UPC led by Zepherin Diabre won 19 of the opposition's 30 seats in parliament, according to the results issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni).

Officially because of problems in compiling votes, the commission had delayed announcing the results in Kadiogo province, where Ouagadougou lies.

Kadiogo was a key battleground in the poll because Diabre was up against Compaore's younger brother Francois, seen as a possible presidential successor in 2015.

Both won seats in the assembly.

The UPC has filed several complaints with the constitutional council, relating to missing votes or a surplus of votes in some polling stations.

"The results just announced do not conform with what the people freely expressed at the ballot boxes," said Ouedraogo, calling for the result in the capital province to be annulled and a new vote organised.

However Salam Derme, an official of the ruling party's youth wing, hailed the results as an "overwhelming victory" for the CDP, which he described as an electoral "tsunami".

The elections were the first since a deep crisis erupted in early 2011, when a wave of mutinies and violent popular protests almost toppled the administration of Compaore, who has been in power since a 1987 military coup.

The electoral commission has urged the candidates in Kadiogo to take any grievances over the eventual provincial result to the constitutional council in order to avoid a post-election crisis.

The vote was the last major test of Compaore's regime before the presidential election in 2015 in the deeply poor, landlocked west African country.

Some of Compaore's supporters want the 61-year-old to change the constitution so he can stand again in three years' time, when his mandate is due to expire.

The voter turnout was a historically high 45.6 percent.


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