Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Niger leader tries to confiscate power

The leader of Niger has dissolved parliament and announced plans to hold a referendum that would allow him to be president-for-life. President Mamadou Tandja made the announcement after both legislators and the high court rejected his plans for a presently illegal third term in office. The National Assembly refused to push through constitutional changes that would've removed the two-term presidential limit. Tandja proposed a public vote to force through the changes, but the country's constitutional court ruled that a referendum "cannot serve as a basis for changing the constitution". The court added that the changes would violate his oath of office.

Presidential elections are scheduled for November of this year. The regional grouping ECOWAS warned that Niger faced sanctions if Tandja pushed his power grab. The grouping cited in particular a regional rule that Niger signed up to banning signatory member states from modifying their constitution in the six months immediately prior to an election, unless political figures from across the spectrum are in agreement.



At 12:10 PM, Blogger NIGER1.COM said...


At 2:14 PM, Blogger iskoki said...

Unfortunately, only a few learn from history. Did Tandja forget what happened to Bare (assassinated in 1999) when he wanted to force the issues and stay in power? I am not suggesting that that would be his fate, but there are serious reasons to fear for turmoil across the country. Did he learn anything from Mobutu, Eyadema, and all the rest...? If he is a patriot as he claims, then why confiscate power?
The real issue is not the people, but the self: pure egoism and opportunism which may result in a monarchy.
Once again, Niger is a proof that respecting the rule of law is central to the problematic of governance in Sub-Saharan Africa.


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