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PRESIDENT CALLS NIGER ELECTIONS

Niger's President Ibrahim Bare Mainassara has called regional, departmental and municipal elections, the final stage of national elections, for Nov. 22.

The date was announced in a presidential decree signed by Mainassara on Friday. The opposition agreed to take part in the elections in a deal struck with the government on July 31.

Mainassara seized power as army chief of staff in 1996 and later that year won disputed presidential elections in which he dissolved the independent national electoral commission and placed his main rivals under house arrest.

The main opposition boycotted parliamentary elections that November, and unrest followed.

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