Niger President Says Economy Top Priority in Second Term

Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou said his agenda will continue to be focused on economic development after winning a second term in a run-off election boycotted by the opposition.

Citizens of Niger shouldn’t waste their energy bickering and must come together to build the country, Issoufou said after the electoral commission declared the results.

Opposition leader Hama Amadou, who lost the second-round vote on March 20, was hospitalized in France earlier in the week after falling ill while imprisoned in Niger’s capital, Niamey. He had been detained there since November on charges connected to a baby-trafficking scandal, which he denies. An opposition coalition known as COPA claimed the run-off vote was unfair and called for a boycott of the polls.

Niger is the world’s fourth-largest uranium producer. The government is an ally of the U.S. and France in the fight against Islamist militants who have attacked Niger and other West African nations.

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