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Vol 57 No 1

Published 8th January 2016


Niger

Issoufou the insouciant

The Islamist threat secures foreign support but the President is courting danger by ignoring widespread discontent

The coming presidential election in February and March dominates all political calculations in Niamey at the moment. At least half a dozen candidates are already in the running, with President Mahamadou Issoufou almost certain to win. The preamble to the race has been mired in controversy for both government and opposition. Former Prime Minister Hama Amadou, a declared challenger, was gaoled immediately on returning from exile in November to begin his campaign. He was held on remand on charges related to his wife's supposed acquisition of babies trafficked from Nigeria but it is widely believed that the real reason is is to keep him out of the presidential race. The High Court of Justice last month refused his appeal for bail.

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