Friday, October 23, 2009

Niger Election Crisis Rooted in Chinese Oil & French Uranium

From Radio France International
President Mamadou Tandja’s ruling National Movement for the Development of Society has won in Niger’s elections, according to partial results announced by the electoral commission on Friday. From results of 100 constituencies, Tandja’s party won 68.

The partial results were announced on state television by electoral commission head Moumouni Hamidou. 113 constituencies were being contested.

Opposition parties boycotted the poll and the country had been suspended from the Economic Community of West African States, following the announcement of the election.

Tandja, a 71-year-old retired colonel, called the elections to replace the parliament he dissolved in June after they refused his plans to extend his term past the 10-year limit.

On Thursday the European Union threatened to cut ties with Niger. They already froze development aid to the country, following the referendum in August, which gave him another three years in power.

“It won’t have any affect on Tandja or the politicians who are supporting him, because obviously he does not care,” Ousseina Alidou, an analyst from Rutgers University, told RFI.

Tandja claims that he needs to stay in power to ensure that projects such as a Chinese oil refinery and French uranium mine are finished.