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UN chief welcomes successful staging of presidential election in Niger

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today took note of the provisional results of the second, run-off round of presidential elections in Niger, calling it “an important step towards restoring democratic governance” in the West African country.

Niger’s National Independent Electoral Commission has announced that the opposition figure Mahamadou Issoufou outvoted Seini Oumarou to win Saturday’s election, according to media reports.

“The Secretary-General welcomes the peaceful and credible conduct of the poll,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

In February last year, renegade soldiers stormed the presidential palace and deposed then President Mamadou Tandja, who had been accused by opposition figures and others of anti-democratic practices.

A military ruling council subsequently dissolved the Government and suspended a contested constitution that would have allowed Mr. Tandja to remain in power beyond the stipulated term.

In his statement, Mr. Ban underlined the UN’s commitment in Niger and said the Organization would “continue to assist the people of Niger and the future leadership in addressing post transition challenges.”

He also commended voters for participating actively in the election as well as those who worked “tirelessly for a peaceful transition in Niger,” including the country’s Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy.

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