The ruling party’s candidate in Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, will enter Sunday’s presidential run-off vote as the heavy favourite to succeed outgoing Mahamadou Issoufou, whose policies to combat Islamist violence and widespread poverty he has vowed to continue. After winning the first round in December by 22 points over his nearest rival, former President Mahamane Ousmane, Bazoum was endorsed by the third and fourth-place candidates. Ousmane, who was president from 1993-1996, hopes to score an upset by promising change in the face of intensifying attacks by militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, part of a wider security crisis across West Africa’s Sahel region.
SOURCE: FRANCE 24
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