West Africa's ECOWAS suspends Niger over elections

Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:58pm EDT

ABUJA Oct 20 (Reuters) - West African leaders on Tuesday suspended Niger from the ECOWAS regional bloc and said they would not recognize the outcome of the country's parliamentary elections.

"The holding of the elections today in total disregard of the authority of ECOWAS heads of state and government is a clear move by the authorities in Niger to further entrench the constitutional illegality currently prevailing in the country," said a spokesman for Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua, who is the current ECOWAS chairman.

"The Republic of Niger is therefore suspended from ECOWAS until constitutional legality is reinstated." (Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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