Boycotted Niger election gives ruling party majority
Results of elections boycotted by the opposition and condemned abroad gave the ruling party of Niger's President Mamadou Tandja a clear majority, an electoral official said Saturday.
The head of the Independent Election Commission, Moumouni Hamidou, said Tandja's party took 76 seats out of 113, while five small parties allied to his regime shared another 25.
For the first time a dozen independents also won seats in the parliament following Tuesday's poll, staged in defiance of Niger's neighbours and the international community, which had called for a delay.
Critics see the legislative poll as helping Tandja, 71, to potentially stay in office for the rest of his life in this uranium-producing but desperately poor west African West Africa
A region of western Africa between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea. It was largely controlled by colonial powers until the 20th century.
West African adj. & n. country.
Tandja organised the election to replace a parliament he dissolved in June after it opposed his plans to extend his term beyond the 10-year limit.
He also dissolved the Constitutional Court after it declared his project illegal and held a referendum in August which allowed him to serve another three years beyond December, when his second term expires.
The 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS ECOWAS Economic Community Of West African States ) expelled Niger after it held the election and said it would not recognise the outcome of the vote.
Tandja's stance also infuriated in·fu·ri·ate
tr.v. in·fu·ri·at·ed, in·fu·ri·at·ing, in·fu·ri·ates
To make furious; enrage.
Furious. Niger's main aid donor, the European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the
European Community , which on Thursday repeated its threat to sever TO SEVER, practice. When defendants who are sued jointly have separate defences, they may in general sever, that is, each one rely on his own separate defence; each may plead severally and insist on his own separate plea. See Severance. ties to pressure Niamey to restore constitutional order.
The results showed a global turnout of 51.27 percent, Hamidou said.
Fewer people bothered to cast their ballots in the capital while turnout was heavy in the countryside where the most impoverished live.
The latest United Nations human development index report, which measures standards of living, placed Niger at the bottom of its list, making it the worst country in the world to live in.
Despite the uranium, the majority of the 15 million people in this landlocked country A landlocked country is commonly defined as one enclosed or nearly enclosed by land. As of 2007, there are 43 landlocked countries in the world. on the edge of the Sahara desert live on subsistence farming subsistence farming
Form of farming in which nearly all the crops or livestock raised are used to maintain the farmer and his family, leaving little surplus for sale or trade. Preindustrial agricultural peoples throughout the world practiced subsistence farming. , continually threatened by drought and locusts.
However under Tandja Niger has enjoyed rare stability in a region that was better known for coups and military takeovers, despite a low-level rebellion by Saharan Tuaregs seeking better integration in the army and the mining sector.