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Trouble brewing over Niger election

Niger has rejected a call to postpone a parliamentary election, amid continuing controversy over President Mamadou Tandja’s desire to stay in power. Tandja changed the constitution to this effect earlier this year. The country’s umbrella political opposition earlier called an election boycott, because it says Tandja intends to rig it and ensure his allies fill the national assembly. Niger’s government has dismissed a plea from West African group Ecowas for a postponement. This might be a mistake, as Ecowas has just slapped an arms embargo on nearby Guinea for killing demonstrators over pretty much the same issue, and won’t be in a mood to compromise. Tandja dismissed the former parliament after it opposed his plans, and held a referendum to extend his term in office - which was approved by a landslide and caused an opposition boycott and international condemnation. Read more: BBC, Reuters, Reuters, BBC

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