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Niger elects a new president

By Omar Hama Saley

Niger heads to the polls this Sunday, December 27, to elect a new president after outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou completed his two terms.

The campaign unfolded in a tense political climate, with opposition leaders arguing that Issoufou’s chosen replacement, Mohamed Bazoum, an ethnic Arab in a country where the vast majority is Black, is not actually a Nigerien citizen. Bazoum responded that the Supreme Court validated his candidacy and that accusations about his nationality were political hijinks.

Critics say the politicians need to address growing insecurity and gaps in education and healthcare, as well as avoid a post-election crisis.

Thirty candidates are in the running for the presidential election. Like the municipal and regional elections of December 13, the presidential election is taking place during a resurgence of the coronavirus disease.