Burkina Faso President Kaboré comfortably wins second term

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The President of Burkina Faso Roch Kaboré has won a comfortable re-election according to preliminary results given by the country's electoral board on Thursday.

Kaboré will serve another five-year term after defeating 12 opponents and securing nearly 58 percent of the vote in the first round.

The 63-year-old received 1.6 million votes of the nearly 3 million cast, with turnout in Sunday's election at 50 percent.

Opposition candidate Eddie Komboigo, head of the Congress for Democracy and Progress, came second in the vote with 15 percent of the ballot. Zephirin Diabretook, from the Progress and Change Party, who lost to Kaboré in 2015, took 12 percent.

By winning an overall majority, Kaboré avoids a second round runoff in which he would have faced a single candidate backed by a united opposition.

Kaboré has been criticised for his failure to contain Islamist and ethnic violence that has forced 1 million people to flee their homes.

Burkina Faso’s electoral commission has dismissed opposition concerns about the validity of the vote count, while international observers said the polls were, for the most part, free and fair.

Final results, which should be released on Saturday, must be verified by the country's constitutional court.