Niger, Niamey (AP) — Niger has sworn to the new president on Friday in the first democratic transfer of power in a West African country.
The inauguration of the newly elected President Mohammed Bazoum comes a few days after Niger’s security forces thwarted attempts at a military coup at the Presidential Palace from Tuesday to Wednesday. Niger is already facing an unprecedented threat from Islamic extremists near its troubled border with Mali.
Bazoum will replace President Mahamadu Ishufu, who will resign after serving two terms in accordance with Niger’s constitution. Ishuf’s decision to respect the Constitution was widely welcomed and paved the way for Niger’s first peaceful and democratic transfer of power since its independence from France in 1960. West African countries have seen four coups.
However, there is growing fear that the inauguration could cause more violence in Niger. The recent massacre, which killed at least 137 people, took place the same day the Constitutional Court granted the victory of the Bazoum elector. And at least 100 people were killed in a village near the border on the day Niger announced on February 21 that the presidential election would advance to the second round.
On Friday, the security of the capital Niamey was severe.
Bazoum is the successor of Isufuf’s choice and a longtime minister of the Arab minority, a minority in Niger. He is a former Interior Minister of Niger and a trained teacher.
His main election rival, Mahamane Ousman, claimed fraud and rejected the election results. Supporters of Ousmane held a large-scale demonstration.
Niger becomes president in the first democratic transfer of power
Source link Niger becomes president in the first democratic transfer of power