Voting began in Niger on Sunday in an election that is expected to lead to the West African nation's first transfer of power between two democratically elected presidents.
A smooth handover would be a rare bright spot for a country blighted by widespread poverty and Islamist violence that has killed hundred of civilians and soldiers in the last year alone.
Niger has experienced four coups since gaining independence from France in 1960.
It would also contrast with Ivory Coast and Guinea, whose presidents this year used constitutional changes to extend their tenures to three terms, raising fears of a democratic backslide in West Africa.
"It's extremely important for us because we are seen as the champion of the coup d'etat," said 50-year-old Massaoudou Abdou who voted in a school in the town of Maradi in southern Niger.
"In 60 years of independence, this is the first time," he said, referring to the passing of power from one elected president to another.
Former interior minister Mohamed Bazoum, the ruling party's candidate, is the overwhelming favourite to succeed President Mahamadou Issoufou, who is stepping down after two five-year terms leading the country of 23 million.
Bazoum, 60, has promised continuity with Issoufou's policies, while also vowing to clean up pervasive corruption.