MADRID, 22 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
At least seven workers from Niger’s electoral commission died on Sunday in a bomb explosion as their vehicle passed, as part of the second round of the presidential elections in the African country, from which the successor of Mahamadou will emerge. Issoufou.
The event took place in the Dargol commune, located in the Tillabéri region (west), one of the most shaken by the operations of jihadist groups, including the affiliates of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, although at the moment there are no claim of responsibility for the attack, which also left three wounded.
Issoufou himself used a message on the social network Twitter to show his “regret and sadness” for the “terrorist attack.” “In these painful circumstances, I extend my condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” he said.
The incident was one of the violent events recorded during the second round, in which Mohamed Bazoum, the president’s ‘dolphin’, and former president Mahamane Ousmane, president from 1993 to 1996, will seek to complete what would be the first peaceful transfer of power in the country since its independence from France in 1960.
Thus, armed persons have looted several polling stations in the departments of Bankilaré and Filingué, which led to a suspension of voting in several centers for security reasons, according to information collected by the ActuNiger news portal.
The spokesman for the Coalition for Citizen Observation of the Elections in Niger (COCEN), Dambaji Son Allah, has highlighted that there have been other incidents of less relevance in other parts of the country, including the capital, Niamey, although “the majority of them were resolved with the intervention of the supervisors of the electoral commission and the situation returned to normal, allowing the vote “.
Issoufou highlighted after going to vote that it was “a great day” and acknowledged that the country faces “immense challenges”, including security, demographics, climate, economic and social development, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic .
“I am convinced that to face these challenges, strong and stable democratic institutions are needed,” he stressed, while defending that “he has dedicated ten years of his life (to them) through the organization of free and transparent elections.” .
“I believe that the second round of the presidential elections will be a free and transparent scrutiny, which implies that the alternation is underway. The peaceful alternation that has been lacking in Niger for decades is going to become a reality,” he said, which he described as “a great event in the political life of the country.”
For his part, Bazoum expressed his wish that “luck be on your side.” “I have reason to believe that luck will be on my side. I look forward to the future with great serenity and calm,” said Issoufou’s ‘dolphin’, who was the most voted candidate in the first round.
The new president will have to deal with increasing jihadist attacks, widespread poverty and food insecurity. Niger, the world’s fifth largest uranium exporter, is also the world’s least developed country among 189 ranked by the United Nations Human Development Index.
The country has become a hub in the fight against jihadists and other armed groups in the Sahel region. France has deployed troops, its largest military operation abroad, while the United States has an estimated $ 110 million drone base in the city of Agadez.