As millions of Nigeriens go to the polls on Sunday to elect a president, the African Press Agency gives a brief overview of the main rivals of Mohamed Bazoum, the man tipped to succeed Mahamadou Issoufou who has exhausted his two five-year terms and cannot run for office again.One of Bazoum’s main challenger is former president Mahamane Ousmane, a candidate for the Democratic and Republican Renewal (RDR).
As the first democratically elected leader of Niger on March 27 1993, as multipartyism swept West Africa, Ousmane was overthrown three years later in a coup led by Colonel Ibrahim Baré Mainassara, following several months of social and political unrest.
Novelty or continuity? Another of Bazoum’s rivals is Ibrahim Yacouba who challenged for the presidency as a candidate of the Nigerien Patriotic Movement (MPN) in 2016.
He was fifth in that presidential race with 4.43 percent of the vote.
A later threw his political weight behind then incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou in the second round.
Issoufou would eventually appoint him foreign minister but the two men fell out in April 2018 after Yacouba was accused of “showing disloyalty”.
Another prominent politician gunning for the presidency is Albadé Abouba, the candidate of the Patriotic Movement for Development (MPR), who coalesced with Mahamadou Issoufou from the first round of the 2016 presidential election.
A powerful Interior Minister under then President Mamadou Tandja and until recently a Minister of State in charge of Agriculture before resigning a few weeks ago to run for the presidency, Mr. Abouba has realistic expectations of being elected to the highest office in the land.
General Saliou Djibo, 55 is covets the presidency and is running under the Peace Justice Progress Party (PJP),
General Djibo, who retired from the army in 2019, campaigned under the mantra of “doing politics differently” in Niger.
He is renowned for leading the military coup that overthrew Niger’s democratically elected President Mamadou Tandja on February 18, 2010. before eventually ceding power to Mahamadou Issoufou after the latter’s election in 2011.
Will it be third time lucky for Seini Oumarou who was a challenger in the 2011 and 2016 elections?
The former prime minister was nominated at the age of 70 by the Mouvement National pour la Société du Développement (MNSD).
Mr. Oumarou recently left his post of High Representative, four years after his appointment.
But in an attempt to “right the wrongs of history”, the MNSD of the late President Mamadou Tandja (1999 – 2010) has chose Oumarou to realise this ambition.