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Niger’s Bazoum offers stability over democracy

Monday, April 15, 2019

Subject

Niger's political outlook.

Significance

The ruling Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) on March 31 formally nominated Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum as its presidential candidate for 2021 elections, at which point President Mahamadou Issoufou has pledged to step down. A Bazoum presidency would represent substantial continuity, but would also necessitate a significant rebalancing of the country’s politics, especially along ethnic lines.

Impacts

  • Local elections in 2020 will be a key pre-2021 milestone and a proxy battle between Bazoum and his presidential rivals.
  • Western policymakers know Bazoum well and will likely welcome the continuity he represents.
  • Under Bazoum, Niger’s openness to foreign military deployments and regional security initiatives would almost certainly continue.
  • Niger’s security outlook will remain fragile due to its poverty and unstable neighbours: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Nigeria and Libya.
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