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U.S. Lauds Peaceful Elections in Burkina Faso

Supporters of President-elect Roch Marc Kabore cheer at his campaign headquarters in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Dec. 1, 2015.

“Burkina Faso’s commitment to a peaceful and transparent election is a model to be emulated."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated the people of Burkina Faso on the election of their first new president in nearly 30 years.

“Burkina Faso’s commitment to a peaceful and transparent election is a model to be emulated,” he said.

Nearly three million voters turned out Sunday for the close elections, choosing a new parliament and Roch Marc Christian Kabore, a former Prime Minister, as President. The long-awaited vote took place despite the many challenges Burkina Faso has faced since 2014.

Political conditions have been unsettled in the West African country since former President Blaise Compaore was forced from office last October amid protests over his plans to cling to power after nearly three decades as President by changing the constitution to run for a third term. The country’s interim government was unseated by a short-lived military putsch in September. In October, elections were delayed.

Yet despite these interruptions, the people of Burkina Faso remained undeterred.

“Over the past two years the Burkinabe people have repeatedly demonstrated their strong commitment to democracy in the face of adversity and shown that legitimate leadership requires public accountability,” said Secretary Kerry.

“The United States looks forward to working with the government and people of Burkina Faso to advance our strong partnership and to continue to strengthen Burkina Faso’s governance, security and economic institutions.”