Niger leader proposes national unity govt

2016-03-23 20:09
Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou (Gael Cogne, AP)

Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou (Gael Cogne, AP)

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Niamey - Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou, re-elected for a second term during controversial weekend elections, on Wednesday proposed forming a national unity government with the opposition which boycotted the vote.

In an interview with AFP, he said: "I am ready to put in place a government of national unity with the opposition in order to face the threats facing the people of Niger.

"There is not just a security challenge, there are other challenges including economic and social development. All these challenges need a sacred union," he said.

Issoufou won 92% of the vote in Sunday's election in the impoverished but uranium-rich country, which was marred by low turnout.

His sole challenger Hama Amadou, imprisoned since November on shadowy baby trafficking charges, was flown to France for medical treatment just days before the second round.

The electoral commission said Amadou won seven percent of the ballots cast.

Issoufou, who took office in 2011, campaigned on pledges to bring prosperity to the country and vowed to prevent further attacks from jihadists in its vast remote north, and from Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists to the south.

"The security challenge requires a national jolt of energy and needs all Nigeriens to pull together, including those from the opposition," Issoufou told AFP.

"We need a broad front so we can respond to the concerns and aspirations of our people," he added.

"I am prepared to discuss and debate with everyone, with political parties - from the majority or the opposition - and with civil society," said the president.


Read more on:    mahamadou issoufou  |  nigeria  |  west africa

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