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Niger Presidential Election : Two Heavy Weight Candidates Known

The Minister of Interior Mohamed Bazoum and the former military junta Djibo Salou have made public their intention to run in December.

The first round of Niger’s presidential election is scheduled to take place on December 27, 2020. While preparations are underway by the Independent National Electoral Commission (NEC), two prominent candidates have declared their readiness to replace President Mahamadou Issoufou at the helm of the country.

On Monday, June 29, 2020 the ruling party’s candidate, Mohamed Bazoum, who had promised to leave government after Ramadan, tendered in his official resignation as interior minister in order to focus on the campaign. In a statement on the media, Mr. Mohamed Bazoum said, his departure from the government would now give him more time to prepare for the presidential campaign. Considered by many political observers as the designated dolphin of President Mahamadou Issoufou, for the December poll, Mr Mohamed Bazoum was born in the east of Niger in 1960 and studied philosophy at the University before joining several syndicate groups through which he made his way into the political limelight.

Compared to the philosopher, the other candidate, General Ajibo Salou is not a new man in the political landscape. At 55, General Djibo, who retired from the military in 2019, will be looking for the presidential chair in the colors of the Peace-Justice-Progress (PJP) Party. The former head of the military junta who led a transition after a coup in 2010 was also chosen by his party on Sunday, June 28, 2020 to seek the supreme office in Niger. He withdrew from the Nigerian political scene after having handed over the presidential charges to the current President Issoufou Mahamadou elected in 2011 then reelected in 2016. The 2020 presidential elections in December promises to be very tough as President Issoufou will not be part of the race in accordance with Niger’s constitution which limits the mandate to five years renewable only once. The presidential elections which will be coupled with the legislative and the first round of the presidential elections is set for December 27, 2020. But before that, municipal and regional elections will be organized on November 1, according to the timetable of the Independent National Electoral Commission. Whoever wins the election, will have a first majfight would be against terrorism .

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