On Sunday, Nigeriens went out in their numbers to vote in the Presidential election.
The election, if concluded without hitches, will become the first democratic transition in the country since its independence in 1960.
It will be the first transfer of power between two democratically elected Presidents. The country has been blighted with violence and four coups d’etat in the past but the coming days will say a lot about its democratic potential.
Niger’s election is coming on the back of contentious elections in Guinea and Ivory Coast, two West African countries who have put the region in the spotlight over their President’s third term successes, considered inappropriate in most democracies.
Mohammed Bazoum, a former Interior Minister and leading candidate has been tipped to replace Mamadou Issoufou who has been President for 10 years, two five-year terms.
Bazoum faces 29 other candidates in his bid to be Niger’s next President in an election that initially had concerns surrounding it, considering the security situation of the country.
Bordered by Burkina Faso and Mali, Niger is facing the pressures of al-Qaeda while Boko Haram is also raging in the nation’s Southeast, where it’s bordered by Nigeria.
Nigeriens have expressed hope about the future of the country which has 40% of its population in extreme poverty.
The country had the support of many African countries in the election, with West African neighbours Nigeria often expressing readiness to back its landmark achievement.
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