Niger: Vote counting underway, results expected in a few days

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Niger started counting the votes Sunday from an election that is anticipated to lead to the West African nation's first transfer of energy between two democratically elected presidents.

The voting course of went on smoothly on Sunday and have been no studies of widespread disruptions.

The West African country, unstable since gaining independence from France 60 years ago, is ranked the world's poorest country based on the UN's Human Improvement Index.

Around 7.four million individuals have been registered to vote within the presidential poll, which coincided with legislative polls.

"I anticipate the Nigerien president to put security, health, progress and democracy first," Aboubakar Saleh, a 37-year-old launderer, informed AFP in the capital Niamey without revealing his selection among the 30 candidates.

Issaka Soumana, a 52-year-old lorry driver, stated he needed change.

"Niger isn't shifting forward. Our nation should rise," he stated, brandishing his ink-stained thumb to point out he had forged his ballot.

President Mahamadou Issoufou, who was elected in 2011 after the country's final coup in 2010, is voluntarily stepping down after two five-year terms.

"It is a big day for Niger which can expertise for the primary time in its history a democratic transition," Issoufou, 68, stated after voting on the Niamey metropolis corridor.

He famous that Sunday's vote was the first through which he didn't take part in three many years within the predominantly Muslim nation.

At some polling stations in Niamey, voters saw to it that women and men shaped separate queues to vote.

The frontrunner is Issoufou's designated successor, Mohamed Bazoum, 60, a former interior and overseas minister.

"It's a nice supply of satisfaction that this date of December 27 has been revered," Bazoum stated after voting.

He campaigned on guarantees of emphasising safety and schooling, especially for young women in a country with the world's highest fertility fee -- 7.6 youngsters per lady.