Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Will They Stay or Will They Go?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria attack: Bomb blast in college in Kano

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Scotland's relationship status: "It's complicated"

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande Press Conference: French President Tackles Record Unpopularity

Read more

FOCUS

Cleaning up Thailand's shady surrogacy industry

Read more

ENCORE!

The Biennale des Antiquaires: Where Miro meets million-dollar jewellery and antiques

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Attacks on migrants in Tangiers and unwelcome stares from men in Cairo

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France looks on as Scotland votes

Read more

Africa

President Tandja takes emergency powers after failed bid for third term

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-30

Niger's President Mamadou Tandja has announced he is assuming emergency powers after a failed bid to amend the constitution to allow him to run for a third term, saying that "the independence of the country is threatened".

AFP - Niger's President Mamadou Tandja Friday said he was assuming emergency powers after a failed bid to prolong his stay in office by changing the constitution to allow him to run for a third term.

The 71-year-old leader said in a television address that he was invoking "article 58 of the constitution" giving him special powers "because the independence of the country is threatened."

Tandja had already run into opposition from the Constitutional Court in his attempt to hold a referendum on changing the constitution to enable him to run for a third five-year elected term in office after his mandate expires in December.

Tandja, 71, first announced his referendum proposal in early May, but the opposition, the trade unions and non-governmental organisations all turned to the Constitutional Court, which on June 12 annulled the president's plan.

The court's decisions are binding on the head of state, whose bid to stage the referendum has also led to street protests and strikes.

Nevertheless, on Wednesday evening Tandja submitted a request to the court, asking it to retract its ruling on the grounds that it had gone beyond its competence.

Date created : 2009-06-27

COMMENT(S)