A government spokesman in Niger says the ruling junta recently fired four high-ranking administration officials over suspicions they were plotting a coup.
A statement read on national radio and television Thursday evening said the removal of the junta's second-in-command, intelligence minister, head of the national guard and minister of equipment were related to a coup plot within the national armed forces.
The military junta led by Gen. Djibou Salou seized power in February when a group of officers overthrew President Mamadou Tandja. Tandja had remained in office months passed his legal mandate.
Presidential elections in the West African country are scheduled for Jan. 31, 2011, and a constitutional referendum is set for Oct. 31.