niger flag.gifVeteran opposition leader, Mahamadou Issoufou, is to face ex-Prime Minister Seini Oumarou in a run-off in Niger’s first election since last year’s coup, official reports say.

 

Election Commission Head, Gousmane Abdourahamane, confirmed the two would face each other in a second round.

 

Mr Oumarou is a close ally of Mamadou Tandja, ousted by the army in 2010 amid criticism for seeking a third term.

 

Military ruler Salou Djibo has promised to hand power to an elected leader before April.

 

Mr Oumarou is backed by a broad coalition, including the party of the third-placed candidate, Hama Amadou, also a prime minister under Mr Tandja.

 

A candidate needed more than 50% of the vote to be elected in the first round.

A new constitution was passed in a referendum in October. This reduces the powers of future presidents and limits them to two terms in office.

 

Niger is one of the world’s poorest countries but has large deposits of uranium in the north, under the Sahara Desert.