Saturday, June 27, 2009

Niger becomes dictatorship

Rebuffed repeatedly in his attempts to become president-for-life by the country's National Assembly and Constitutional Court, Niger's president Mamadou Tandja has seized dictatorial powers. Tandja, who's already been in power for ten years, dissolved parliament and declared that he would rule by decree. He said that "the independence of the country is threatened," no doubt he meant the independence of his wallet.

The National Assembly refused Tandja's request to remove the constitutional two-term limit on the presidency. He tried to organize a public referendum to circumvent the legislative decision but its legality was twice struck down by the courts.

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