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Mohamed Bazoum, the candidate of Niger’s ruling party, has won last Sunday’s runoff presidential election, setting the stage for one elected leader to succeed another for the first time in the country’s history. Provisional results released Tuesday showed Bazoum with 55.75 percent of the vote to 44.25 percent for his opponent, Mahamane Ousmane. The poll was marred by violence, though, including two attacks on Election Day that killed eight election officials in parts of the country where violent extremist groups are active.
Opposition parties are also contesting the election results, spurring three days of violent protests in the capital, Niamey, that have left two people dead and seen hundreds arrested. These incidents underscore the challenges Bazoum now faces as he seeks to legitimize his victory and try to address Niger’s persistent insecurity.