Niger’s electoral commission has declared the governing party candidate, Mohamed Bazoum, the winner of the country’s presidential election runoff. Bazoum had secured 55.75 percent of the votes cast on February 21, beating former President Mahamane Ousmane who garnered 44.25 percent, Issaka Souna, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), announced on Tuesday. Outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou is voluntarily stepping down after two five-year terms, opening the way to Niger’s first handover of power between elected leaders since independence from France in 1960. The impoverished country in recent years has been struggling with armed group attacks that have spilled over from Mali in the west and Nigeria in the southeast. On the polling day, seven local CENI workers were killed when their vehicle hit a landmine in the western region of Tillaberi.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA