Niger : Demonstration against the electoral code

Ibrahim Yacoubou, former Nigerian foreign minister. Photo: RR

NEWSROOM (ADV) – Thousands of people demonstrated in Niamey at the call of the opposition against the electoral code accusing the government of bad governance.

The demonstrators, headed by former president Mahamane Ousmane, marched through the streets of the capital chanting hostile slogans to the regime before holding a rally in front of the parliament.

On placards it was possible to read: “Peace and security for all Nigeriens”, “the people demand an inclusive and consensual electoral code” and “Down with bad governance”.

The protest came a week after the opposition suspended its participation, due to lack of consensus with government officials, in the revision of the electoral code drafted without it in 2017.

According to the opposition, four articles could not be the subject of an agreement, including Article 8 which disqualifies for an election any person who has been sentenced to at least one year’s imprisonment.

Ibrahim Yacoubou, the former foreign minister who joined the opposition following his dismissal in April, accused the regime of “manipulations” aimed at “putting electoral fraud in the electoral code”.

Article 8 exists “in our electoral code since 1992”, responded Bazoum Mohamed, the Nigerien Minister of the Interior, the day after the suspension of the participation of the opposition to the revision of the code.

During the discussions on the revision of the code, that started in the beginning of October, the opposition demanded in particular the return of an old version of article 8 which fixed “a sentence of condemnation of three years “for disqualification at an election”.

© Bur-csa – A.H / Oumaima Mourtada – African Daily Voice (ADV)