In Niger, nearly 7.5 million voters were called to the polls yesterday for the second round of the presidential election, which pits the ruling party’s candidate, Mohamed Bazoum, against the opponent and former President Mahamane Ousmane.
Election day in Niger was marked by the death of seven members of the Electoral Commission, killed in the explosion on a mine in their vehicle. Three other people were seriously injured. The tragedy occurred yesterday morning in the rural town of Dargol, in the region of the “three borders”, not far from the Burkinabè Gourma, according to the Rfi.fr site. Several villages in this area were therefore unable to vote.
Another incident took place in a village in Bankilaré prefecture, in the same area of the “three borders”. Armed men on motorcycles abducted a 4 × 4 vehicle and ransacked two polling stations. They stripped its limbs before releasing them.
A calm voting day
In the rest of the country, the voting day took place without major incident, as in Niamey, the capital. If voters flocked to the opening of several polling stations, this was not the case at midday at the CEG VI school in Niamey. A few people came in and out of the offices of this school. Members of the security forces were visible.
A member of office number 7, which has more than 400 registered, explained to Rfi journalists that there was little attendance compared to the first round in this office. There were sometimes a few minutes late for the opening of the offices scheduled for 8am, just enough time to finalize the very last preparations.
President Mahamadou Issoufou voted
In the middle of the morning, the outgoing head of state went to put his ballot in the ballot box. “It’s a great day,” Mahamadou Issoufou told the press as he left the polling station, while stressing that Niger is facing many challenges which require strong democratic institutions to be able to meet them. The Nigerien President is not a candidate for his own succession. He passes the hand after his two terms, as provided for in the Constitution of Niger.
The candidate of the ruling Pnds, Mohamed Bazoum, voted for him yesterday in the morning, after Mr. Issoufou, in the same polling station in Niamey. The Rdr candidate, Mahamane Ousmane, was in his stronghold, in Zinder.
Respect for democratic transition rules, strengthening of institutions …: Aja asks Africans to draw inspiration from the Nigerian example
The Association of African Jurists (Aja) welcomed “the smooth running of the electoral process” which has just ended in Niger. In a press release, the members of this association praised “the maturity of the People and the respect of the rules of democratic transition by the government to lead to a political transition”. The Aja document also welcomes the attitude of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou who, “for ten years, has tried to ensure the security of Nigeriens, to strengthen democratic institutions and to avoid a third term”. According to the authors of the document, President Issoufou respected this “promise made to the Nigerien people” as well as “the rights of the opposition throughout the process”. However, “the Association of African Jurists remains vigilant about the electoral process underway in Niger”.
In addition, concerned about respecting the Constitution, electoral laws and the fundamental principles of the rule of law, Aja “asks other African countries to take inspiration from this Nigerian example”. According to this organization, it is not only a question of respecting and ensuring respect for the rights of political opponents, but also “of minorities often threatened with imprisonment or exile”. In the same vein, it also asks to improve “the functioning of republican institutions and in particular of justice which is the ” backbone ” of democracy and the rule of law”. In its press release, this association reiterated “respect for the sovereignty and self-determination of the Peoples and the organization of free and transparent elections under the control of the international community, in particular ECOWAS and the African Union. “.
#NIGER #Presidential #election #mourning #death #members #Ceni