Voters in Burkina Faso are going to the polls Sunday for presidential and parliamentary elections, held while extremist violence in the West African country has been escalating.
President Roch Kabore who is running for a second five-year term against 12 other candidates has promised to secure and stabilize the country.
Kabore, 63, is expected to win, although he is in a tight race with opposition candidates, former finance minister Zephirin Diabre, 61, of the Progress and Change Party and the runner-up in 2015 election; and Eddie Komboigo, chairman of the Congress for Democracy and Progress party of former president Blaise Compaore, who was overthrown by a popular uprising in 2014 after 27 years of rule.
However, Kabore must win 51% of the votes cast in the first round to avoid a runoff.
Burkina Faso’s Central Election Commission has said that about 7% of the electorate will not be able to vote for fear of violence in the north and east of the country, that has taken more than 2,000 lives this year alone.
The polling stations will close at 6 p.m. local time and the voting results are expected by midweek.