The former Minister of the Interior won 55.75% of the vote, ahead of his rival Mahamane Ousmane, at 44.25%, announces the electoral commission.
Niger’s electoral commission has declared the ruling party’s candidate, Mohamed Bazoum, the winner of the country’s second round of presidential elections.
Bazoum had obtained 55.75% of the votes cast on February 21, beating former President Mahamane Ousmane who had won 44.25%, announced Tuesday Issaka Souna, president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).
Early Tuesday, Ousmane’s campaign alleged widespread fraud, including ballot theft and stuffing and threats against voters. He provided no evidence.
“We demand the immediate suspension of the publication of these results, which in no way take into account the expression of the Nigerien people for change,” the campaign team said in a statement as the electoral commission released the vote count.
Outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou voluntarily resigns after two five-year terms, paving the way for Niger’s first handover of power between elected officials since independence from France in 1960.
The impoverished country in recent years has been grappling with attacks from armed groups that have spread from Mali to the west and from Nigeria to the southeast.
On polling day, seven local CENI workers were killed when their vehicle struck a landmine in the western region of Tillaberi.
On Monday, a similar explosive device claimed the life of a polling station chief in the south-eastern Diffa region. Nine other election officials were injured.
In the first round of voting, held on December 27, Bazoum, former Minister of the Interior and Issoufou’s right-hand man, won just over 39% of the vote. Ousmane came in second, just under 17%.
Ousmane became the country’s first democratically elected president in 1993, only to be overthrown in a coup three years later. It was his fifth attempt to win the presidency since his overthrow.