Niger junta says no members to run in vote

Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:40pm GMT

By David Lewis and Abdoulaye Massalatchi

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Members of Niger's military junta and a transitional government will not be allowed to stand in promised elections, the junta said on Wednesday.

The junta, which calls itself the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy, overthrew President Mamadou Tandja last week after he had ruled the West African uranium exporter for more than a decade.

Its priorities are to clean up politics and restore democracy by holding transparent elections, spokesman Col. Abdulkarim Goukoye told reporters.

"We are here to clean things up. That involves a lot of

things," he said.

He said an election would be held but he gave no date, saying it would not be a unilateral decision by the junta.

"We will not remain in power forever. No member of the Council or any transitional body will stand," he said.

The coup, the fourth since independence from France in 1960, was welcomed by Nigeriens tired of months of political bickering in a nation that is one of the world's poorest but attracts billions of dollars of investment in its oil and uranium.   Continued...

<p>Colonel Goukoye Abdul Karimou reads a statement signed by Salou Djibo in Niamey in this videograb dated February 18, 2010 after President Mamadou Tandja was ousted in a military coup. REUTERS/Reuters TV</p>
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