Burkina Faso holds its first free election in 30 years

Burkina Faso holds its first free election to choose new president this weekend in 30 years

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Protesters pose with a police shield outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014.

Burkina Faso votes in its first free election this weekend after long time ruler Blaise Compaore was ousted by a nationwide uprising.

The election was delayed from October 11 to end of the month due to a failed coup in September by the members of former president Compaore’s presidential guard (RSP).

"This is definitely the most open election since the country's independence," said Cynthia Ohayon, West Africa analyst for the International Crisis Group.

He said, "You actually don't know who is going to win, even though there are front-runners."

Burkina Faso was ruled for 27 years by Blaise Compaore. Last year he was forced to resign by a huge nationwide uprising when he sought to change the constitution to stay in power for longer.

Despite fourteen candidates running in the election, according to analysts two are the most likely to win: Roch March Kabore who was once prime minister under the Compare administration and businessman Zephirin Diabre.

Kabore is supported by the bussiness elite and traditional chiefs and is a member of Burkina Faso's largest ethnic group. On the other hand Diabre has international links with the United Nations and French nuclear company Areva.

Economic growth is one of the most important issues affecting people’s decisions in Burkina Faso, with the failed coup last September costing the country $50 million in lost revenue.

Security has been tightened by Burkinabe authorities after the recent hotel attack in Mali, which shares a long border with Burkina Faso.

Alain Zagre, the country's minister of security, said the land border with Mali will be closed from Friday night to Tuesday morning. At least 22,000 troops will be responsible for election safely across the country.

TRTWorld and agencies