Niger’s electoral commission has declared the governing party candidate, Mohamed Bazoum, the winner of the country’s presidential election runoff.
Former interior minister garnered 55.75 percent of the votes, ahead of rival Mahamane Ousmane, at 44.25 percent, election commission announces.
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.
Early on Tuesday, Ousmane’s campaign alleged widespread fraud, including the theft and stuffing of ballot boxes and threats against voters. It did not provide any evidence.
“We demand the immediate suspension of the publication of these results, which do not in any way take into account the expression of the Nigerien people for change,” the campaign team alleged in a statement as the election commission released the vote tally.
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.