Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Monday, 15 June 2009 18:05 UK

Niger leader at rival's funeral

File pic of Niger's President Mamadou Tandja
Mamadou Tandja's supporters say he has brought economic growth

Niger's President Mamadou Tandja has attended the funeral of a prominent critic who died on Sunday as he was about to address an opposition rally.

Moumouni Djermakoye Adamou, 70, had criticised Mr Tandja's plans to change the constitution to let him seek a third term in office.

Mr Djermakoye had been a judge, army officer, minister and diplomat.

On Friday, the Constitutional Court said an August referendum on changing the constitution was illegal.

The court had previously ruled against changing the constitution.

Mr Tandja dissolved parliament days later.

Mr Djermakoye was about to address opposition supporters in the capital Niamey on Sunday when he was taken ill and later died in hospital.

He had backed Mr Tandja until the president announced his plans for a referendum, reports the AFP news agency.

The president attended a ceremony in the capital, while hundreds of people paid their respects to Mr Djermakoye in his home town of Dosso, about 140km (85 miles) away.

Mr Tandja was first elected in 1999. His supporters say he has brought economic growth.

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