United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, has reiterated the commitment of the world body to support democratically-elected authorities in Burkina Faso to consolidate peace, stability and to advance democratic governance.
This was contained in a statement issued by the UN Spokesman, Stephane DuJarric, yesterday in New York.
The statement was issued on the occasion of the presidential and legislative elections which will mark the end of the transition period in Burkina Faso.
The secretary-general called on all national stakeholders to uphold their commitments throughout the process.
He called on them to ensure that the polls were conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner that respect the will of the people of Burkina Faso.
Ki-Moon further called on them to resolve disputes that might arise from the electoral process through established legal channels.
Presidential and parliamentary elections commenced yesterday in that country one year after a violent public uprising that forced President Blaise Compaore out of office.
According to NAN, a report from Ouagadougou indicated that two out of 14 candidates have emerged as favourites.
One was the 58-year-old former Prime Minister, Roch Kabore, of the People’s Movement for Progress, while the other was the 56-year-old Zephirin Diabre, former Finance Minister, of the Union for Progress and Change.
Compaore has planned to modify the constitution to allow him extend his 27-year rule.
Thousands of people had protested in the capital Ouagadougou against the plan, which was cancelled amid violence and pillaging, while Compaore fled the country.
A transitional government was put in place with a fresh election set for October, but a coup attempt led by Compaore loyalist General Gilbert Diendere in September delayed the vote.
Diendere, who led the 1,200-member presidential guard in taking interim President Michel Kafando captive, has since been taken into custody by government forces.
Campaigning in the run-up to the elections has been incident-free since the coup.
Kabore, who left Compaore’s party out of opposition to extending his rule, was regarded as the forerunner against Diabre.
Both candidates have promised to boost economic growth in the agriculture-driven economy, which has a population of about 17 million.
The former French colony in West Africa, known as Upper Volta until 1984, was a low-income country, with per capita income at 670 dollars in 2013.
The UN’s Human Development Index ranked Burkina Faso the 181st out of 187 countries in 2014.
Nearly 5.5 million voters are registered to vote.
The electoral rule indicated that if none of the candidates receives 50 per cent of the vote, a second round would be held about eight days after the results, which are expected on December 5.

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