They are 7.4 million voters who are voting, since this morning, in Niger, to designate the successor of Mahamadou Issoufou. The latter says he is proud of the conduct of the elections that will make history in this country that has never known a peaceful alternation since its independence in 1960.
Since this morning, Nigeriens are called to the polls in the second round of the presidential election. The two competitors, Mohamed Bazoum and Mahamane Ousmane, have fulfilled their civic duty, respectively at the town hall of Niamey and Birni, near Zinder.
The outgoing President, Mahamadou Issoufou, also voted in the same place as his runner-up, Mohamed Bazoum. After slipping his ballot into the ballot box, he confided a few words to the press: « The peaceful alternation, which has been lacking in Niger for decades, will be realized. I am proud. I am proud to be the first democratically elected President in our history to be able to hand over to another democratically elected President. This is a major event in the political life of our country, » said the Nigerien Head of State.
Security arrangements have been made to allow the vote to take place peacefully, in a country where jihadists have been making headlines for years. « Thousands of soldiers were deployed to secure the vote, especially in areas exposed to insecurity, » a senior official in the defense ministry told AFP. At the town hall in Niamey where the outgoing president voted, we see tanks and pick-ups equipped with machine guns.
On the whole, voting continued peacefully throughout Niger, even though the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) denounced the circulation of fake ballot papers.