Niger opposition says won't recognize Sunday run-off

Alleging unfair treatment, opposition earlier announced a boycott of round 2 of the presidential election

Niger opposition says won't recognize Sunday run-off

World Bulletin / News Desk

Niger’s opposition coalition has announced that they "will not recognize" the outcome of the second round of the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for Sunday.

The opposition "demands a political transition that will organize new democratic elections – free, legitimate, and transparent and honest," the opposition coalition COPA 2016 said in a statement late Thursday.

Incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou won 48.4 percent of the vote in the first round to Hama Amadou’s 17.7 percent on February 21, but such results are often subject to legal challenges.

Amadou, who has been in prison since November on what supporters claim are politically motivated charges, faces a serious illness and this week was flown to France for treatment.

The opposition coalition had earlier announced a boycott of the second round of the presidential election amid allegations of “unfair treatment” in the first round.

Opposition spokesman Seini Oumarou said the coalition decided to not participate further due to the “absence of official results from the first round… and the unfair treatment between the two candidates.”

The government later said the second ballot, which Issoufou had been expected to win, would go ahead.

Issoufou has been president since 2011 but fell short of an outright majority in the first poll, despite his main rival campaigning from prison. The Court of Cassation is due to rule on whether Amadou’s trial will proceed on March 23, three days after the run-off vote.

The former French colony, a producer of uranium and oil, is prone to drought and is one of the world’s least-developed nations, according to the UN. It has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world and disease is widespread.

The country faces a security threat from Boko Haram, which has carried out raids in the southeastern Diffa region.

Last Mod: 18 Mart 2016, 13:08
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