Niger to hold second round of presidential election

In a ruling issued on Sunday, the Constitutional Court of Niger reported that the second round of presidential elections should take place on 21 February.

The court noted that in the first round, no candidate had obtained an absolute majority of votes. The Court rejected the annulment, partial or total cancellation claimed by opposition candidates.

“The Court receives the request of the President of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Céni) in the form, validates and proclaims the final results of the first round of the presidential elections of December 27 2020. The court, therefore, declares Mohamed Bazoum and Mahamane Ousmane candidates in the second round of the presidential elections.”

With 39.3 percent of the total 5.1 million votes, Mohamed Bazoum leads, followed by former President Mahamane Ousmane at 16.98 percent .

For the second round, Bazoum and Ousmane must participate in negotiations with the 28 other candidates who have not applied, in a country where alliances tend to be formed and broken easily.

Eighteen opposition groups, including Ousmane, in the Cap 20-21 alliance, called for the failed candidates to enter the former president’s candidacy in the first round.

Benefiting from the support of Hama Amadou, the key opponent rejected by the ballot for prosecution in the case of child trafficking, Cap 20-21 has already threatened not to accept the second round outcome unless it is “transparent and honest, without ballot-box stuffing.”

A second coalition, the Alliance of Candidates for Change (ACC), was founded by ten other unsuccessful candidates in the first round, including former President Salou Djibo, who offered their support in the second round to “to any interested candidate” in exchange for subsequent power sharing. The ACC candidates’ cumulative score does not surpass 10 percent .

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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