United Nations, Dec 29 : UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the holding of the presidential and legislative elections in Niger and commended the government and people of the West African country for the peaceful conduct of the polls.
Through a statement issued on Monday, the UN chief further commended the country’s security and defence forces for their efforts to provide a secure environment on election day on Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The Secretary-General calls on all political actors and their supporters to maintain the peaceful environment and to resolve any dispute that may arise through dialogue and established legal mechanisms,” said the statement.
“The Secretary-General reiterates the UN continued support to the people and Government of Niger in their efforts to further consolidate democracy and sustainable development in the country,” it added.
More than 7.4 million people voted on Sunday in the first round of Niger’s presidential and legislative elections.
The voters had to choose among 30 candidates for the successor of the incumbent President Mahamadou Issoufou, who is not running for a third term, as well as 171 representatives in Parliament among 4,205 contestants representing more than one hundred political parties.
Seini Oumarou, former Prime Minister of Niger from the National Movement for the Development of Society, former president Mahamane Ousmane, Mohamed Bazoum from the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism, and Albade Abouba from the Patriotic Movement for the Republic are the main contenders for President.
If no presidential candidate receives a majority of the vote, a second round will be held on February 20, 2021.
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