By Clément Yao
Had it not been for the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of seven members of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni) on Sunday February 21, the day of the second round of the presidential election, it is a flawless course for Niger who is now among the best students of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa since the accession of President Mahamadou Issoufou – who came to power in April 2011 – who, at 68, gave up running for a 3th mandate “Unconstitutional”.
A beautiful democratic lesson on a Continent where most of the leaders drunk with power do not hesitate to twist their constitution to remain in power indefinitely, as was the case very recently in Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire.
During this second round, the 7.5 million Nigerien voters went calmly to the polls to decide between the two running candidates, namely Mohamed Bazoum of the Nigerian Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS-Tarayya) came first in the first round with 39% of the vote, and the opponent Mahamane Ousmane Mohamed of the Democratic and Republican Renewal (RDR Tchanji), came second with 17% of the vote.
Before the verdict of the ballot box is known in the next few days, the successor of President Mahamadou Issoufou who had taken a good head start on his opponent in the first round, and also benefited from the postponement of the votes thanks to the rallying of the allies, is presented by observers as the favorite of this presidential election which once again confirms the roots of democracy in Niger.
The wish of the friends of Niger and many Pan-African NGOs like the Pan-African Council of the ADA is to see Mohamed Bazoum succeed Mahamadou Issoufou in order to continue his titanic development projects and the democratization of the country.
“Who in the Republic of Niger could better than Bazoum, after President Mahamadou Issoufou, ensure a bright future of democratic consolidation in Niger, and perpetuate this model for Africa? “, Asks Touré, its president in a contribution published in the Beninese daily “The emerging country”.
According to the electoral law, Nigeriens should know the name of their future president within five days after the polling stations close.
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