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Plans for Niger's Presidential Elections Move Ahead

But, decision to exclude Nigeriens living outside of the country from voting has raised objections from at least one political party.

Preparations are advancing steadily for next year's presidential elections in Niger. But a recent decision to exclude Nigeriens living outside of the country from casting their votes has raised objections from the opposition party the Coordination of Democratic Forces for the Republic.

A member of the CFDR, Omar Hamidou, questioned the decision. He asked what was next. Would the authorities attempt to exclude Nigeriens from within the country from the ballots as well?

But Ghousmane Abdourhamane, president of the National Independent Electoral Commission, cited security concerns as well as logistical problems as the reason behind excluding Nigeriens who live abroad.

The commission also announced that the budget for the election process is almost complete. They recently secured $41 million in international aid to support the process. The presidential vote has been scheduled for January 31, 2011.

Niger is currently under military rule after a February coup that ousted President Mamadou Tandja, who had refused to leave office when his term expired last year.