Niger: the poll marked by the death of seven members of the CENI

From our Special Envoy in Niamey, Issouf Kamagaté

This Sunday, February 21, the day of the second round of the presidential election in Niger, a car of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) exploded following the passage on an antipersonnel mine in the rural commune of Dargol, not far from the three border zone and killing seven people, authorities report.

A sad day for the country and the two candidates who wished, this Sunday after their vote, a calm and peaceful ballot. Registered at the Niamey Town Hall polling station, Mohamed Bazoum (Pnds Tarayya), the dolphin of Mahamadou Issoufou who voted just after the latter, said he was animated by a feeling of satisfaction, “in view of the calm that characterized this second round that we led ”. His challenger, Mahamane Ousmane of Rdr Tchanji, also hoped that everything would go well, without violence and in peace. In a Hausa-language statement, after his vote in Zinder, the former Nigerien president hoped that the calm that reigned during the campaign would be the same until the end of the ballot.

In the CEG 25 Koira Kano and CES Zam (Niamey) centers, most of the polling stations visited all observed a quiet vote, except polling stations 482 and 483 of CES Zam, where supporting document problems penalized some voters. According to Oumarou Eggo Ampaté, representative of the Pnds Tarayya candidate at a polling station, around ten voters were unable to vote. “Usually you need the voter card to vote. Otherwise, a receipt plus a civil status document. Now we are asked for a power of attorney, a civil status document and a certificate of residence sealed by the Ceni “he complains.

Despite these cases, the vote went well, said Aboubakari Koudze Rachida of the Youth and Political Network in West Africa (Rjpao). “We have deployed teams in nearly five regions. And we exchange through a Whatsapp forum where we also feed back information in the event of incidents, ”she emphasizes. But at Ali Drissa, Coordinator of the Observatory of the electoral process (Opele) of the Network of organizations for transparency and budget analysis (Rotab), grievances were raised: delay of voting in certain regions (Tillaberi, Ayeru etc.) , refusal to issue a certificate of residence for the vote, additional lists in certain nomadic regions. This network, which has deployed 500 observers in several regions of the country, notes security concerns in Maradi, Dosso Jiratawa, purchases of conscience.

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