Niger’s electoral register is good enough to enable the country to go ahead with an election on Feb. 21 as long as certain changes are made, the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) said in a report on Monday. The changes include getting rid of around 300 ‘ghost’ polling stations and 25,000 voters who have been counted twice, said the organization. President Mahamadou Issoufou is running for a second term and is favorite to win but critics say he has become increasingly authoritarian and has unleashed a campaign of repression before the polls.
In December, the opposition rejected the register, or list of eligible voters, saying the process did not meet their demands.
The government agreed to the demand for an audit in a bid to ensure a transparent election but the opposition then withdrew from the panel selecting a firm to carry out the review, saying no satisfactory candidate had been found.