Niger’s presidential election will hold a runoff poll in February after Mohamed Bazoum failed to secure enough votes in the first round of voting, according to provisional results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission on Jan. 2, 2021.
Bazoum, an ally of President Mahamadou Issoufou, and a former head of Niger’s interior and foreign ministries, lead the first round with 39.33% of the vote. He needed 50% of the vote to win the presidency.
Former president Mahamane Ousmane earned 17% of the vote in the first round.
The runoff is set for February once the country’s constitutional court validates the results of the first round.
This election is Niger’s first attempt at a democratic transition of power. Since gaining independence from France in 1960, the country has experienced four coups.
Issoufou announced last year that he would step aside after serving two five-year terms. He was elected to the presidency in 2011 after a military coup in Feb. 2010.
In a New Year radio address, Issoufou hailed the presidential election as “a new, successful page in our country’s democratic history.”
Sources: AFP.com (Agence France-Presse), dw.com (Deutsche Welle)