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Niger Republic’s presidential election heads to runoff

Bazoum, an ally of President Mahamadou Issoufou, will square off against former president Mahamane Ousmane in the runoff. Photo: DW

The Electoral Commission in Niger Republic has announced that the ruling party’s candidate Mohamed Bazoum will face former President Mahamane Ousmane in a presidential election runoff in February.

According to the commission on Saturday, Bazoum, 60, led the first round with 39.33 per cent of the vote, falling short of the 50 per cent plus one needed to win the first round.

While Ousmane received 17 per cent of the votes cast.

The second round is expected to be held on February 21 after the results of the first round have been validated by the constitutional court, which will hear any appeals.

Bazoum, has been both interior and foreign minister.

His party, the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) is also leading in the legislative vote held at the same time with 80 of the 165 seats and five diaspora seats remaining to be decided.

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou is stepping down after two five-year terms, which is expected to lead to the West African country’s first transfer of power between two democratically elected presidents.

Almost 7.5 million people cast their votes on Sunday to choose a successor to Issoufou.

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