Opposition in Niger condemns Sundays elections

The Nigeriens headed to polls on Sunday for the first round of the country's presidential elections which were jointly held with the parliamentary elections.

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A CITIZEN OF NIGER REPUBLIC CASTING HIS VOTE AT THE SOKOTO POLLING CENTRE IN THE COUNTRY'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ON SATURDAY. 21/2/2016/BRM/EO/NAN
A CITIZEN OF NIGER REPUBLIC CASTING HIS VOTE AT THE SOKOTO POLLING CENTRE IN THE COUNTRY'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ON SATURDAY. 21/2/2016/BRM/EO/NAN

Although most election monitors noted that the elections were generally peaceful, the country’s opposition parties decried numerous irregularities witnessed during the elections.

A CITIZEN OF NIGER REPUBLIC CASTING HIS VOTE AT THE SOKOTO POLLING CENTRE IN THE COUNTRY'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ON SATURDAY. 21/2/2016/BRM/EO/NAN
A CITIZEN OF NIGER REPUBLIC CASTING HIS VOTE AT THE SOKOTO POLLING CENTRE IN THE COUNTRY’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ON SATURDAY. 21/2/2016/BRM/EO/NAN
Addressing the press on Sunday evening, the spokesman for the opposition alliance, Coalition for Change in 2016 (COPA 2016) Moussa Harouna, said the elections were faced with numerous challenges such as delays in opening of the polling stations, logistical challenges such as insufficient ballot papers in opposition strongholds as well as many people having more than two voter’s cards.

COPA 2016 brings together about 20 opposition parties among them National Movement for the Development of Society of Seini Oumarou as well as Nigerien Democratic Movement for African Federation of former Speaker of Parliament Hama Amadou.

The presidential candidates of these parties agreed to support the best among them in the event of a second round of the presidential elections against incumbent President Mahamadou Issoufou.

Preliminary observations made by election monitors indicated that the electoral process was generally peaceful and without major incidents both in the capital and interior of the country, although polling stations in many regions opened late.

The president of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) Boube Ibrahim said everything went well across the country, but admitted that there were few logistical challenges that were quickly addressed.

At the same time, voting in certain regions of the country where the exercise did not take place on Sunday continued on Monday following recommendations by CENI. The concerned regions include Zinder, Maradi, Tahoua, Agadez and Tillabery.

No information on voter turn out has so far been released.

A total of 15 candidates, including incumbent president, contested in the first round of this year’s presidential elections

Source: Xinhua

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