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Niger: 1.5m can’t vote except they provide guarantors

The just concluded elections in Niger was partially marred when about‎ 1.5 million people who were without ID papers were told by authorities that they would be able to cast their votes by having witnesses vouch for them- a move strongly condemned by the opposition.

Vote counting in the West African country is currently underway following the conclusion of presidential and parliamentary elections.

The two main contestants in the race to become president are the incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou who is hoping to secure a second term in the impoverished West African nation and his main rival, Hama Amadou who is currently behind bars after being accused of trafficking babies, a charge he strongly denies.

Read also: Niger’s president foils plan to overthrow him

The run-up to the elections was scuttled with allegations of repression and a scuffle over identification of documents by voters before they can vote.

Niger is ranked among the poorest countries on earth ranking last in the UN Human Development Index but ironically, the country is rich in natural resources such as uranium and oil.
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