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Thursday, August 5, 1999 Published at 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK

World: Africa

Ex-minister in Niger arrested

The former interior minister in Niger, Souley Abdoulaye, has been arrested in the capital, Niamey.

He's been accused of involvement in vote-rigging in the town of Tahoa one-hundred kilometers north of Niamey during February's local elections.

Mr Abdoulaye's wife said he was being kept in a prison in the capital but denied involvement in electoral fraud. She also said he never visited the town during the poll. His arrest comes days before his party, the Gathering for Democracy and Progress, meets to choose a candidate for presidential elections in October.

There's been no word from the party.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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