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Cablegate: Niger: Legislative Election Calm, Turnout Low

VZCZCXRO6432
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0830 2942038
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 212038Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5398
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1679
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHDC

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000830

DEPT FOR AF/W AND AF/RSA
PLS PASS TO USAID FOR AFR/W
ACCRA ALSO FOR USAID/WA
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU - J MAYBURY
PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHER

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM SOCI PHUM NG
SUBJECT: Niger: Legislative Election Calm, Turnout Low

Ref: Niamey 00582

1. On October 20, some six million Nigerians were called to a vote
for deputies to serve in a newly constituted National Assembly.
This came one day after security forces voted, allowing the police,
gendarmerie, and military to provide security for the general public
during balloting. The vote took place in a generally calm and
peaceful atmosphere. The Independent National Electoral Commission
(CENI) has started tabulating votes from the 113 constituencies, but
results will not be available for another "three or four days."

2. President Tandja kicked off legislative elections by casting his
ballot in Niamey. He remarked that "voting is the civic duty of all
Nigeriens...I wish this will be a great day for Niger, that the
voting will take place in the best conditions and that the elected
deputies will be true patriots." According to CENI, 6,089,725
registered voters were to select 113 deputies from among 800
candidates. There were 19,331 polling stations nationwide. Le
Sahel, the government-run newspaper, reported that the "people voted
in massive numbers." Embassy sources, however, noted that polling
stations in Niamey were mainly empty, as most citizens chose to
remain at home for the national holiday.

3. The opposition held true to its previous declarations, largely
boycotting the election. A handful of opposition party individuals
ran as independents, however. Some opposition members claimed that
the voter turnout was lower than that of the August 4 referendum,
wherein the GON claimed at least 68 percent of registered voters
cast ballots, and the opposition maintained that perhaps as low as 5
percent voted (reftel).

4. Post will provide election results and comments via septel.

Allen

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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