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Niger President Set for Easy Win; Opposition Blasts Results


A polling station worker counts ballots during the second round of the presidential election at the polling station in Niamey, Niger, March 20, 2016.

A polling station worker counts ballots during the second round of the presidential election at the polling station in Niamey, Niger, March 20, 2016.

Partial results from Niger's presidential run-off show incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou heading for a landslide victory.

According to Reuters, Niger's electoral commission says Issoufou has received 93 percent of the vote with about three-fourths of constituencies counted. The commission put voter turnout at 61 percent.

The opposition, which had called for a boycott of Sunday's poll, said the results are not credible. A VOA reporter in Niger on Sunday reported low voter turnout across the country.

COPA 2016 opposition coalition spokesman Ousséini Salatou said the numbers released are "shameful."

"I am ashamed of my country because this is no longer a one-party state. We are a democracy. Our supporters did not go vote," he told VOA's French to Africa Service.

Hama Amadou flown to Paris hospital

Four days earlier, opposition candidate Hama Amadou was taken from his Niamey jail cell and flown to Paris hospital. Opposition officials say Amadou has been sick since he was imprisoned, but his illness is unclear.

Amadou had been in jail since November on baby trafficking charges, allegations that he and his supporters say are politically motivated.

Issoufou, 65, was elected president of Niger in 2011 after a military coup toppled president Mamadou Tandja.

The opposition coalition says Issoufou has become increasingly authoritarian, and has also accused Niger's top court of conspiring with the government to ensure Issoufou's re-election.

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