Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with holdout creditors

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

Africa

Electoral commission boss quits ahead of controversial referendum

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-07

The deputy head of Niger's Independent Electoral Commission and representative of the Bar Association has resigned as Niger braced for a controversial referendum in which President Mamadou Tandja (pictured) is seeking to stay in power.

AFP - Aissatou Zada, deputy head of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and representative of the Bar Association, resigned on Monday, local radios reported as Niger braced for a controversial referendum in which President Mamadou Tandja is seeking to stay in power.
  
On June 17 the Bar Association had called on Tandja to show "wisdom" and accept a Constitutional Court decision that annuled his planned referendum on a new constitution that could keep him in power.
  
The president replied by dissolving the nation's highest court and naming new members, some of whom came out in favour of his referendum.
  
Zada was the second member of the electoral body to resign following activist Marou Amadou who represented human rights organisations.
  
After initially declining to organise the referendum out of respect for the Constitutional Court's decision, the IEC finally decided to go ahead, according to one of its members who asked not to be named.
  
Electoral rolls, voting cards and copies of a draft constitution that has aroused mass protests were sent out to the sub-Saharan country's western Tahoua and southeastern Diffa regions on Monday, according to Voix du Sahel radio.
  
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in the capital Niamey on Sunday to decry Tandja's planned referendum, which would allow him to run for a third five-year term in office.
  
Tandja, a 71-year-old retired army colonel, has dissolved the country's parliament as well as the Constitutional Court after they opposed his plan to hold the referendum.
  
According to the constitution, Tandja should step down on December 22 after two terms and 10 years in charge of the country.
  
But the new constitution he wants to introduce would prolong his mandate by three years, during which time no elections would be held.
  
Niger's most important international partners, including the European Union, France and the United States, have condemned Tandja's recent decisions.
  
Meanwhile the Collective of Organisations for Defence of Human Rights and Democracy, which groups the main non-governmental organisations in the country, called on all its militants to withdraw their members from the IEC "to denounce the lawless regime in Niger."
  

Date created : 2009-07-07

COMMENT(S)