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Niger elect new MPs

Niger Parliament

Niger Parliament

Voters in Niger are electing new MPs after President Mamadou Tandja dissolved Parliament last year for rejecting his attempts to extend his stay in power.

The opposition has boycotted the polls being held despite international calls for it be postponed.  Turnout is reported to be steady.

The constitution was changed after Mr. Tandja held a referendum, also boycotted by the opposition.  Reports say there has been a huge deployment of military and paramilitary forces to curb disturbances.  The government has pressed on with the election despite criticism from the African Union and the European Union.

Mr. Tandja was due to stand down in December, after serving two five-year terms.  But opposition groups say Mr. Tandja wants to hold on to power for life, and has scheduled the election to give his rule a veneer of legitimacy.

Source: GBC NEWS

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