Nigerien traditional leaders urge restraint for peaceful polls

Traditional leaders in Niger on Thursday called for restraint due to rising political tension over the country's presidential elections whose first round will be held on Feb. 21.

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For some weeks now, Niger’s socio-political context has been growing tensed, especially between the government and the opposition.

The situation deteriorated further after the announcement by President Mahamadou Issoufou of a failed coup attempt on Dec. 17 last year, whose objective was to “eliminate the president and overthrow the democratically elected government.”

Meeting in the capital Niamey on Thursday, the traditional leaders said they were deeply concerned with the prevailing security and socio-political situation, especially due to hate remarks being made by different political and social actors that threaten social cohesion.

They appealed to all political leaders, civil society actors, media, religious leaders and the entire population to demonstrate restraint and wisdom to enable the country have peaceful, free and fair elections.

In Niger, traditional leaders constitute a symbol of national unity, and they are considered as guardians of traditions and customs. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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