Bazoum wins first round in Niger presidential election, heads for run-off


NIGER Republic’s electoral commission on Saturday declared former minister, Mohamed Bazoum, winner of the first round of the presidential polls with 39.33 per cent of the votes.

A run-off is scheduled for February 20.

Bazoum, a close ally of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou, will slug it out with former president Mahamane Ousmane, who won 16.99 per cent.

Former prime ministers Seini Oumarou and Albade Abouba came third and fourth respectively with 8.95 per cent and 7.07 per cent of the ballots, according to figures released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

The former interior and foreign minister, 61, had hoped to clinch victory in the first round.

He is projected to join forces with one or more of the other 29 candidates who ran in last Sunday’s election.

Bazoum’s ruling Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) is leading in the legislative vote also held on Sunday, with 80 of the 165 seats and five diaspora seats remaining to be decided.