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Polling disturbances reported, re-run ordered in some areas

The Niger government has ordered a re-run of local elections in constituencies where disturbances have been reported, news organisations said today. Sunday’s poll, marking the last phase in the country’s return to democracy, was initially described as peaceful, but Niger radio yesterday said it had just received reports of a “number of problems”. Many voters were not in possession of their voting cards, in some areas there was a shortage of cards and some politicians were said to have influenced the electorate, the radio reported. It said that in Agadez prefecture for example, candidates “intimidated voters and polling officials”. AFP cited witnesses as saying there had been arson attacks, vandalism and theft of voting material. The independent national electoral commission listed the worst-affected areas as parts of the capital Niamey, Ziner and Maradi in the south, Dosso in the southwest and Tahoua in the north. It blamed the trouble on “discontented candidates”. The election had been slated as a political landmark for Niger, as previously all municipal officials were nominated by the central government.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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