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Burkina Faso's Compaore Crushes Opponents in Presidential Poll

Burkina Faso's long time leader, Blaise Compaore, has crushed his opponents in presidential polls, getting more than 80 percent of the vote in one of the world's poorest countries.

Militants and some journalists waved white handkerchiefs and chanted victory when election officials announced the results of last Sunday's election, giving a wide victory to Mr. Compaore. Outside, cars honked their horns.

The second place finisher, Benewende Sankara, got less than five percent of the vote, while the candidate in third place got less than three percent. Voter turnout was 57.5 percent.

The opposition says Mr. Compaore had an unfair financial advantage because he was able to get money from outside the country.

Most of the other dozen candidates did not even have their own car. They also say the long-time president shouldn't have been allowed to run now that there is a new law that forbids more than two elected terms.

But electoral officials said the law was not retroactive, meaning Mr. Compaore will be able to run again in 2010.

One voter told VOA he was disenchanted by the whole process.

"To me, I think it's just business as usual because President Compaore is standing for a third term," he said. "They say it's not a third term but it is. Maybe one day in the near future we will have a real democracy in the country."

Mr. Compaore, a former army captain, has been in power since a coup in 1987. Voting Sunday was peaceful. Opposition candidates accused some of Mr. Compaore's militants of multiple voting.

Monitors from the African Union did not observe this, but did say campaigning had been lethargic