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NIGER – Mohamed Bazoum elected President in the second round with 55.75% of the vote

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Mohamed Bazoum @Sputnik

Mohamed Bazoum, the power candidate, was elected President after the second round of the presidential election on Sunday, 21 February 2021. He thus succeeds Mahamadou Issoufou who leaves his post after having exercised two constitutional mandates. The opposition is challenging and talking about an election hold-up.

Mohamed Bazoum, 61, won the presidential election in Niger with 55.75% of the vote against 44.25% for his rival Mahamane Ousmane. Voters fulfilled their civic duty on Sunday, despite the insecurity caused by the jihadist threat. On the day of the vote, seven CENI election officials were killed in a mine explosion when their vehicle passed through the Tillaberi region, on the border with Mali. A polling station chairman was also assassinated by “Boko Haram elements” in the Diffa region near Nigeria.

The turnout in the second round of the election is 62.91%. The ruling candidate won 2,501,459 votes, while the opposition won 1,985,736 out of 7.4 million voters. The announcement was made on Tuesday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). These results must be confirmed and proclaimed by the Constitutional Court. These “results are provisional and must be submitted to the Constitutional Court for analysis,” said CENI President Issaka Souna.

For its part, the opposition is challenging the verdict of the ballot box. Just before the announcement of the results, she denounced an electoral “hold-up” before demanding “the immediate suspension of the publication of the results”. “I call on all Nigerians…to mobilize as one man to defeat this electoral hold-up,” said Mahamane Ousmane’s campaign manager, Falké Bacharou.“

After the first round, the opposition had lodged appeals with the Constitutional Court, in vain. She denounces the crazy participation rates (of more than 95% in some communes, even 103% for one of them) in the nomadic areas of the north of the country acquired by the Nigerian Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS), the ruling party. 

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Mouhamed Bazoum won 39.3% of the vote in the first round, held on 27 December 2020, against almost 17% for Mahamane Ousmane.
For the first time in the history of Niger, an elected head of state will give way, peacefully, to his successor. At the end of his two terms, the outgoing president, Mahamadou Issoufou, had made Mohamed Bazoum his runner-up. After the vote, Issoufou said he was proud to be the first democratically elected president in Niger’s history to be able to hand over to another democratically elected president. The transition is underway. The peaceful transition that has been lacking in Niger for decades is about to take place. This is a major event in the political life of our country,” he said.

Note that the two men are old comrades of struggle since the time when they were in the opposition. They thus installed the PNDS a little more, which they co-founded in 1990, in power.

       

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