Page last updated at 13:36 GMT, Saturday, 24 October 2009 14:36 UK

'Poll win' for Niger ruling party

President Mamadou Tandja voting in Niamey, 20/10
Mamadou Tandja has been criticised over his efforts to cling to power

The party of Niger's President Mamadou Tandja has won a clear majority in parliament, the nation's election commission has said.

Mr Tandja's party took 76 of the 113 seats, officials said.

The election was boycotted by the opposition in protest against changes to the constitution allowing the president to stand for a third term.

For the first time a dozen independents also won seats in the parliament following Tuesday's poll.

The vote has attracted international condemnation, however.

It came after months of political turmoil sparked by Mr Tandja's attempts to stay in power.

He dissolved parliament and the constitutional court earlier this year when they refused to allow him to change the constitution.

Earlier this week West Africa's trade bloc Ecowas suspended Niger's membership after the president refused to delay the election.

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