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Niger Plans Parliamentary Vote for August 20

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Niger's electoral commission has set a parliamentary vote for August 20, after the president dissolved the national assembly in a dispute over whether he can extend his rule.

The electoral commission called on all parties Friday to submit a list of candidates for the parliamentary vote by June 25.

President Mamadou Tandja dissolved parliament last month after several members raised questions about the constitutionality of his bid to hold a referendum to extend his time in office.

The parliament members had asked the Constitutional Court to rule on the issue.  The court ruled last week that the referendum would be illegal.

Mr. Tandja has not said whether he will comply with the decision.

The president's term is due to end in December, but he has repeatedly called for a three-year extension.  

Mr. Tandja said he needs more time to improve Niger's infrastructure, end the Tuareg rebellion in the north, and give the presidency more power.

His plan has sparked outrage from political opponents and union leaders, as well as sharp criticism from African organizations and the U.S. government.

 

 


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters. 

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