OUAGODOUGOU - In Burkina Faso, former prime minister Roch Marc Christian Kaboré won Sunday's presidential elections on the first round with a clear majority of the vote. He becomes the first new president of the country in almost three decades.
The provisional results of the presidential elections in Burkina were announced just a few minutes before midnight Monday.
"Candidate Roch Marc Christian Kaboré gathers 53.49 percent of the vote," said a speaker from the electoral commission on a big screen set up just outside the headquarters of Kaboré's party in Ouagadougou.
A couple thousand people were gathered to watch and hear the announcement.
Voter Albert Zombré said people were very happy. "We are proud today in Burkina Faso. We will be able to breathe. Kaboré will fix the country," he said.
Another voter chimed in. She said "he is the first president to be democratically elected."
Another woman said Kaboré wanted to help women, youth, he wanted a change.
"That is why we support him," she said.
The 58-year-old banker is Burkina Faso's first new president in almost three decades. Last year, former president Blaise Compaoré was ousted during a popular uprising after he tried to extend his 27-year rule.
Kaboré, a former loyal ally of Compaoré for 25 years, broke with the ruling party a few months before the president's downfall.
Soon after his win was announced, Kaboré stepped on the stage to deliver a short speech.
"We should work together," Kaboré said, "to heal the wounds and succeed in truth and justice, national reconciliation and consolidate social cohesion between all Burkinabé. Long live Burkina! Long live the Burkinabé people!" he proclaimed.
Kaboré's main challenger, longtime opposition leader Zéphirin Diabré, was a distant second with 29.65 percent of the vote. He paid a discreet visit to congratulate the winner just before the results were announced.
The electoral commission said voter turnout Sunday was 60 percent. Observers said the poll was transparent and fair. The results of legislative elections, held on the same day as the presidential poll, are expected to be announced by tomorrow.