Former Foreign Affairs minister, Mohamed Bazoum will succeed Mouhamadou Issoufou as the new president of Niger after polling 55.75 percent of the vote in a run-off held on February 21.According to the provisional results published on Tuesday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni), 61-year old Bazoum, the candidate of the ruling Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS Tarayya) obtained 2,501,459 votes.
His challenger in the two-horse race, Mahamane Ousmane of the Rassemblement Démocratique et Républicain (RDR Tchanji) polled 1,895,736 votes, which represent 45.25 percent of the ballot.
Ousmane’s campaign directorate are disputing the results and claimed there is an “electoral hold-up”.
The vote seemed to have swung Bazzoum’s way after the third and fourth placed candidates in the first round threw their electoral weight behind the ruling party contender.
Nestled in 3rd and 4th place at the end of the first round, the leaders of the National Movement for the Development Society (MNSD Nassara) and the Patriotic Movement for the Republic (MPR Jamhuriya) had called on their supports to vote for Bazoum.
Others who failed to make any serious impression in the earlier poll, such as Oumarou Malam Alma of the Rassemblement pour la Paix et le Progrès (RPP Farrilla) and Hassane Barazé Moussa of the Niger Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ANDP Zaman Lahiya) also asked their supporters to back him.
At least 7.4 million people out of Niger’s estimated population of 24 million had registered to vote in 26,000 polling stations scattered across the country.