Burkina Faso’s constitutional court swore in Roch Marc Kabore as president on Tuesday, making the former prime minister the country’s first new leader in decades following his election last month.
The ceremony conducted at a stadium in the capital marks a pivotal moment in a democratic transition in the West African country after veteran leader Blaise Compaore was overthrown in a popular uprising in October 2014.
“This is the triumph of the alternative that we have been waiting for so long. It’s the triumph of democracy,” Kabore said in a speech. Most of the country’s leaders have come to power through coups since independence from France in 1960.
The swearing-in marks the end of an interim government that held power in the wake of Compaore’s overthrow. Soldiers from the elite presidential guard staged a short-lived coup in September in which they took the transitional president hostage.
Authorities arrested around 20 soldiers for plotting to free from prison a prominent general, Gilbert Diendere, charged with staging that coup, the transitional government said on Sunday.
Landlocked Burkina Faso produces cotton and gold but remains impoverished. Its economy has slowed due to lower global commodity prices and reduced investment during the democratic transition that began after Compaore fell.
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