Junta-ruled Niger pushes back presidential election by nearly a month to Jan. 31, 2011

NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — Niger's electoral commission says the West African country's presidential vote is being pushed back by about a month.

According to an announcement Tuesday from the commission, the vote to restore civilian rule after this year's military coup will now be held Jan. 31, 2011 instead of Jan. 3.

It's not the first time officials in Niger have delayed the election.

Junta spokesman Col. Goukoye Abdoulkarim had said in May the election would be held by Dec. 26, but electoral officials said they needed more time to prepare.

The military junta ousted the country's dictatorial and unpopular president, Mamadou Tandja, in February after he refused to step down when his mandate expired last year.