MOHAMED Bazoum was elected Niger’s president in the second round of polls, the election authority of the West African nation said Tuesday.
Bazoum, the ruling party’s chairman, won Sunday’s election run-off by a landslide with 55.75% of votes, according to results published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).
Bazoum also won the first round of election.
Meanwhile, former President Mahamane Ousmane is trailing with 45.25% of the vote.
The election is meant to usher in the first democratic transition of power in Niger with President Mahamadou Issoufou stepping down after 10 years.
The overall results remain provisional pending confirmation by Niger’s Constitutional Court.
Recalling the deaths of seven independent election officials in a landmine blast on the day of the ballot, Bazoum noted “the urgency and enormity of the challenge of the fight against terrorism.”
He vowed to pursue counter-terrorism efforts methodically and with determination, as well as to give “a prominent place” to security in the hierarchy of its future actions.
He also declared he would promote ethical governance to “fight against poverty, rehabilitate the education system and train young people and fight against unemployment.”
Bazoum also invited his political rival to work alongside him “to create a new climate between the government and the opposition, end unnecessary tensions and work on the essentials.”
“I know my country perfectly well, I feel in a state to assume this function entrusted by the people. I will assume it with patriotism, loyalty and probity. I will be a president of all Nigeriens,” he added.
The opposition, however, has rejected the unofficial results of the election.
“In many cases, the results that are being published by the CENI are not consistent with the expression of the will of the people. These results prove enough that a new electoral heist is underway in Niger,” said Falke Bacharou, Mahamane Ousmane’s campaign manager.