Niamey, Apr 2 (EFE) .- Mohamed Bazoum was inaugurated today as the new president of Niger for a five-year term, in a ceremony held today in the presence of fifteen heads of state and government, as well as representatives of regional institutions and international.

Bazoum, who won the second round of the presidential elections on February 21, was sworn in on the Koran, the holy book of his confession, in a ceremony held at the Mahatma Gandhi International Conference Center in the capital.

Bazoum’s inauguration occurs at a time when his rival, Mahamane Ousmane, still refuses to acknowledge his defeat and claims to have won the elections with 50.33% of the vote; as well as it is celebrated two days after the attempted coup that was aborted by the presidential guards on the night of March 30-31.

In his inauguration speech, Bazoum spoke among other points of the main projects on which he will focus in the next five years, as well as addressed the latest post-election political crisis, and condemned the latest coup attempt.

“We need to do two things: promote good governance and radically rethink our education system to turn our demographic potential into economic bonds,” he said.

According to him, the low schooling rate and the high school dropout rate aggravate the phenomenon of early marriage of girls, since 77% of girls marry before the age of 18, and 28% before the age of 15 “.

At the same time, the president lamented the strong prevalence of polygamy and the weak use of contraceptive methods.

“With a fertility rate of 7 children for every woman we are breaking a world record. The population growth rate is 3.9%, that makes Niger grow demographically faster than the rest of the world. We are in a vicious circle” The Nigerian president deplored, adding that this situation prevents the country from promoting its sustainable development.

In addition, Bazoum referred to the situation of insecurity that the country has been facing in recent years, adding that it is Niger’s main concern.

Regarding good governance, the new president expressed his firm commitment to fight corruption, impunity, and promote equity and social justice.

“Anyone who is proven responsible for a serious error in the management of public affairs will be severely sanctioned, regardless of his political position,” he warned.

Among the Heads of State present at the ceremony are the President of Chad, Idriss Déby, the President of Togo Faure Gnassingbé Eyadema, of Liberia Georges Weah, of Burkina Faso Roch Marck Christian, and the representative of the Libyan Transitional Council, Mahmoud Jibril, among others.

Also present were the special representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for the Sahel and West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the president of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and that of the Economic Commission of the States of West Africa (ECOWAS), Jean-Claude Kassi Brou. Issa Ousseini

(c) EFE Agency

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