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Former PM Wins Burkina Faso Presidential Vote


FILE - Burkina Faso presidential candidate Roch Marc Christian Kabore from the MPP party waves during a rally in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Nov. 27, 2015.

Election officials in Burkina Faso say former prime minister Roch Marc Christian Kabore has won the country's presidential election, becoming the West African nation's first new president in decades.

Authorities late Monday said Kabore, prime minister under former strongman Blaise Compaore before splitting with that regime, won the presidency in the first round with more than 53 percent of the vote.

Provisional results showed his closest rival, Zephirin Diabre, with just under 30 percent. The French news agency, reporting from the capital, Ouagadougou, said Diabre congratulated the victor at his party's headquarters shortly before the results were released.

Five million registered voters were eligible to select from among a slate of 14 presidential candidates. The polls originally were set for October, but were briefly delayed by a failed military coup.

Compaore was ousted in a 2014 coup. He first seized power by force in 1987 and later won four elections - all of them disputed.

Burkina Faso has been largely led since independence in 1960 by authoritarians who seized power by force.