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Niger: Protests erupt after Bazoum wins presidential run-off vote

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Protests have erupted in Niger with reports of clashes between protesters and police in parts of the capital, Niamey.

The clashes erupted before and after the announcement of Mohamed Bazoum as winner of the presidential run-off.

Angry supporters of his challenger Mahamane Ousmane have been protesting in opposition strongholds.

Protesters have burnt tyres and a campaign vehicle belonging to the ruling PND party have been destroyed.

Sunday’s presidential run-off vote was to help citizens choose a new leader towards first democratic transfer of power.

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Outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou announced his decision to step down after two five-year terms.

His decision has been hailed by many and considered significant in promoting democracy in the West African nation.

Issoufou has said “Handing over power in 2021 to a democratically elected successor… will be my greatest achievement.”

President-elect, Mohamed Bazoum, 60 is a former interior minister and had the support of the candidates who came third and fourth in the first round.

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Mohamed Bazoum. Photo: Anadolu Agency

He won the presidential election with more than 55% of the vote.

Mahamane Ousmane however was elected president in 1993 but toppled in a coup three years later.

Ousmane, 71, was running for president for the fifth time since he was toppled in a coup.

Niger like other countries in the Sahel region such as Mali and Burkina Faso, increasingly face issues of security and attacks from militants.

The next president will have a major task addressing this problem and growing the country’s economy as well.

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