Monday, February 22, 2016

Niger elections raise hopes of citizens amid opposition outcry

As voters cast their ballots in Niger’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday, rising insecurity and hunger were main concerns.

The country is endowed with natural resources, including uranium and oil, but is one of the poorest countries on earth.

Also, defence remains a top budget priority with the remote north threatened by jihadists operating out of Mali and Libya while the southeast tries to fend off attacks by Nigeria-based Boko Haram.

In the polls, a total of 7.5 million people were eligible to vote at 25,000 polling stations across the impoverished country.

However, the opposition party has denounced the election saying there had been vote rigging and a problem with duplicate voter cards.

Also, there was heightened tension as voters were allowed to cast their ballots without proper identification papers following a ruling by the country’s top court.

Nonetheless, President Mahamadou Issoufou has promised a knock out blow to his opponents in a crowded presidential race.

He is seeking to secure a second term in the west African nation.


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