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World - Africa

Early Burkina Faso results suggest president re-elected

graphic November 16, 1998
Web posted at: 7:42 p.m. EST (0042 GMT)

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (CNN) -- Partial results from Sunday's presidential election in Burkina Faso suggest that Blaise Compaore will easily be re-elected, national radio said Monday. But the opposition denounced the poll and said there was voter fraud.

National radio said returns from some 2,415 of the 7,000 or so polling stations showed Compaore had won 80 percent of the vote, but it stressed that these figures were unofficial.

Opposition leader Herman Yameogo, a former minister, complained of fraud, saying some people had voted several times by using fake birth certificates that were handed out Sunday. He also alleged that a minibus carried Compaore voters from town to town so they could vote again.

He called for dissolution of the national assembly and a "revival of the democratic game."

Compaore's ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress holds the vast majority of seats in the 110-member national assembly.

Turnout in the poll was put at around 50 percent, which would be double the percentage in the previous presidential election in 1991.

Compaore, 47, in power since a coup in 1987, faced a contest in the polls for the first time, as two candidates broke with an opposition boycott to run against him.

However, Ram Ouedraogo of the Greens party and Frederic Fernand Guirma of the Front of Refusal of the Democratic African Assembly were expected to pose little threat.

An official result is likely by Wednesday, election officials said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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