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Niger jailed opposition figure eligible to run for presidency

Niger jailed opposition figure eligible to run for presidency

Niger

15 candidates are eligible to run in Niger’s presidential elections after the country’s constitutional court approved their bid on Saturday.

Among the presidential hopefuls is a vital opposition figure who was imprisoned in November 2015.

Hama Amadou a former parliamentary speaker, was arrested after he returned to the country over a baby-trafficking scandal.

We welcome this decision which proves that our county is making progress consolidating the rule of law, thereby reinforcing democracy

Amadou had pledged to return to Niger to stand in the presidential elections slated for February 21st.

This is not the first time, the former speaker is participating in the polls. In 2011, Amadou came in third in the first round of the presidential election vote.

“We welcome this decision which proves that our county is making progress consolidating the rule of law, thereby reinforcing democracy,” said Malam Mahamane Sani, spokesman for Amadou said.

Nevertheless, judicial authorities are yet give a directive on Amadou’s appeal for a provisional release.

President Mahamadou Issoufou is also seeking another term in office and critics say he is likely to clinch the seat.

Former prime minister Seyni Oumarou, who is riding on a ticket from the main opposition party, has also been authorised to vie for office.

Earlier in the week, the electoral body completed changes to its register as recommended by the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).

The changes included the ejection of about 300 ‘ghost’ polling stations and 25,000 voters counted twice.

The register is now said to be reliable and valid ahead of the general elections.

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