In Niger, Issoufou leads rivals by mile, opposition smells fraud

In Niger, Issoufou leads rivals by mile, opposition smells fraud

Thursday, February 25, 2016 5:36 pm

President Issoufou

President Issoufou: cruising home to victory

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou is far ahead of rivals in a contentious election in which he is seeking a second term, according to early results from Sunday’s vote that have already been contested by opposition leaders.

Provisional results on Thursday from 170 of the  country’s 308 communes gave Issoufou 52 percent of the vote, according to the national election authority.

Under election rules, a candidate must have 50 percent of the vote to win in the first round; otherwise, the top two candidates must compete in a run-off poll.

An opposition coalition had already vowed to block Issoufou’s bid for another term by uniting behind his opponent in the second round.

Opposition leader Hama Amadou, who was jailed before Sunday’s poll, received 15 percent of the vote. Seyni Oumaru, who finished second in the last election in 2011, garnered 10 percent.

Hama Amadou: flays polls as fraudulent

Hama Amadou: flays polls as fraudulent

The location and population size of the 170 communes were not immediately clear.

Sunday’s vote, which spilled into Monday due to logistical problems, was peaceful but tense. Security forces patrolled cities and villages in case of unrest or militant attacks.

Opposition parties, who accuse Issoufou of seeking to suppress dissent and of ordering the arrest of opposition supporters in the run-up to the vote, said initial results that came out on Tuesday were fraudulent

Issoufou has dismissed the criticism as politically motivated. He has also vowed to tackle deep poverty and crush Islamist militants, notably the Nigeria-based group Boko Haram, whose violence has spilled across the border.

Niger, which produces uranium and oil, is ranked last in the U.N.’s Human Development Index.


Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.