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Niger fixes Feb. 21 date for presidential polls

By on December 16, 2015

Niger’s government on Tuesday fixed Feb. 21 as the date for the next presidential and legislative elections.

Campaigning for both will take place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 19, according to an official communique released following a cabinet meeting.

President Issoufou won election in 2011 in a poll that restored democratic rule following an army coup a year earlier. He has become an important ally of the West in the fight against regional Islamist militants.

And Issoufou’s Niger Party for Democracy and Socialism expects him to win a second term with an absolute majority in the first round.

His main challenger is expected to be former prime minister Seyni Oumarou, who finished second to Issoufou in the 2011 election.

Another opponent Hama Amadou, ex-parliament speaker and former Issoufou ally, was arrested on charges of involvement in a baby trafficking scheme. He denies the accusations against him, claiming the charges are politically motivated.

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