NIAMEY, 22 March 2021 – Niger’s Constitutional Court has confirmed the victory of Mohamed Bazoum at the presidential run-off held last month.

Bazoum of the ruling PNDS (Parti Nigerien pour la Democratie et le Socialisme ) was credited with winning 55.66 percent of the vote.

Outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou - Photo Deutsche Welle

Outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou – Photo Deutsche Welle

Niger's President-elect Mohamed Bazoum on Facebook

President-elect Mohamed Bazoum on Facebook

That translates to a total of 2,501,459 votes cast in favor of Bazoum, according to a final tally published Sunday.

The inauguration of Bazoum would mark the first successful democratic transition since Niger gained independence from France.

Outgoing president Mahamadou Issoufou is stepping down after serving his two five-year terms of office.

Runner-up Mahamane Ousmane of the opposition RDR-Tchanji party received 45.34 percent of the votes.

The court said the turnout during the 21 February 2021 ballot was 62.81 percent.

Runner-up Mahamane Ousmane and Vote Winner - Photo Medafrica Times

Runner-up Mahamane Ousmane (L) and President-elect – Photo Medafrica Times

The opposition coalition, Cap 2021, and its allies, alleged fraud, claiming to have been victorious with 50.3 percent of the vote.

Opposition supporters clashed with police in the streets of Niamey last month after the electoral commission announced preliminary results giving Bazoum winner,

Authorities in Niger banned street protests last Saturday called by the opposition coalition, fearful of a repeat of last month’s violence in which at least seven people were killed.

Opposition Protesters Clashed with Police after the Electoral Commission Announced Preliminary Election Results Last Month - Photo TRT World

Protesters Clashed with Police after Preliminary Election Results gave Bazoum Winner Last Month – Photo TRT World

Officials also cited public health concerns linked to the ban of public gatherings to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The president-elect is a former minister of interior who is intimately aware of the security challenges Niger faces from, among others, the Islamic State West Africa Province, a splinter from Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist militants.

One of Africa’s leading uranium producers, Niger is currently building a 2,000km oil pipeline connecting the landlocked nation to Benin and seen as indispensable for Niger’s plans to expand oil production from 20,000 to 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day by 2030.

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