The presidential candidate of the ruling party in Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, is in early lead in the partial election results counts on Tuesday.
BBC Hausa Service reports that, based on partial results published by the electoral commission yesterday, Bazoum had scored 96,329 votes, while his rivals Mahamane Ousmane and Seini Oumarou got 39,261 and 15,011 votes respectively.
According to Reuters, based on the result published late on Monday by the electoral commission from 23 of 266 voting districts, Bazoum received nearly 40% of the votes, ahead of his nearest challenger, former president Mahamane Ousmane, who had about 16%.
The winning candidate must score 50 per cent of votes cast to avoid a second round of the election.
Bazoum, a former interior minister, is considered a strong favourite to succeed President Mahamadou Issoufou, who is stepping down after two five-year terms leading the country of 23 million.