President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger while casting his ballot in the capital Niamey said the country needs strong democratic institutions and he expects Sunday’s elections to facilitate this.
“I hope that the presidential and legislative elections will permit us to reinforce our institutions,” President Issoufou.
The president who is seeking a second term in office called on the electorates to be calm and wait for the outcome of the elections.
“We are no longer campaigning. We must be patient and wait a few hours to see the outcome of the elections,” he added.
There were reports of delays in dispatching electoral materials to polling stations in some parts of the country. But Niger yet to record any electoral violence closed its borders and tightened security on Sunday.
“It has been a long time since I saw such participation in the electoral process, reminding me of early days of democracy in Niger,” one voter said.
The opposition accused the president of repression and manipulating the electoral process. 14 candidates are vying to be president of Niger. One of his main opponent, Hama Amadou is still behind bars for charges related to a baby trafficking ring.
“These are not free and fair elections. We have one presidential candidate in prison who was not able to campaign from prison,” Amadou said when he cast his ballot.