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Vol 51 No 24

Published 3rd December 2010

Burkina Faso

Modesty Blaise

Apathy and a chronically low turn out meant that President Compaoré could have won comfortably without bothering to steal votes

Of all West Africa's electoral battles, President Blaise Compaoré's fight for re-election after 23 years in power was the least in doubt. The 21 November poll saw him secure 80.21% of the vote, on a low turnout and amid much disillusion about the possibility of change. There were accusations of poll-rigging but there was never any prospect of a genuine contest. Only 1.62 million Burkinabès bothered to vote, just over 50% of the registered electorate of 3.2 million. The population is 16.2 million and in comparable countries in the region, the electorate is about 40% of the population, so Burkina Faso's should be at least 6.5 million people.

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