The Burkina Faso opposition criticizes the presidential election because early results favor incumbent Kaboré

Incumbent Burkina Faso President Roch Kaboré led by just 12 of about 360 polling stations declared on Monday, the election commission said, while opposition parties doubted the credibility of the results so far.

Hundreds of thousands of citizens could not vote during the president’s vote on Sunday as their polling stations remained closed for fear of Islamist violence.

Al Qaeda and Islamic State groups are working across Burkina Faso, part of a growing jihadist threat in the Sahel of West Africa, a semi-arid region south of the Sahara Desert.

An association of opposition parties questioned the credibility of the results on Monday and repeated accusations of irregularities and fraud during a joint press conference. Prior to the vote, international observers said they had not seen any evidence of fraud.

Analysts expect a close race that could go to a second round if no candidate wins more than 50 percent.

Kaboré, first elected in 2015, led in most of the dozen voting districts whose results were announced on Monday afternoon, a total of 53,000 votes, more than twice as many as his closest rival, Zéphirin Diabré.

The Election Commission said further results would be announced on Tuesday.

Diabré is a former finance minister and second in 2015. Kaboré’s other main competitor in the field of 13 candidates is Eddie Komboigo, leader of the party of Blaise Compaoré, who was president for 27 years until a revolution in 2014.

( Jowharwith REUTERS)