Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Anne A-R : The people beyond the numbers: A photographic manifesto from the migrant trail

Read more

ENCORE!

Video: Ken Loach wins his second Palme d'Or in Cannes

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

France’s green-fingered architects

Read more

FOCUS

President Mauricio Macri’s clean break with Argentina’s ‘Kirchnerite’ past

Read more

REPORTERS

Ukraine: Searching for Donetsk’s missing people

Read more

#THE 51%

Petition in France to include women writers in final year school curriculum

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

G7 leaders say Brexit could pose ‘serious risk’ to global growth

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Salon's message to Republicans: 'You are stuck with him now!'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Time Out': Le Parisien calls for calm amid social unrest

Read more

Africa

Tandja's referendum: people's choice or coup d'état?

Video by Melissa BELL , Eric JOSSET

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-08-14

President Mamadou Tandja has ruled Niger for ten years, and to make sure he stays in power, he organised and won a referendum on a new constitution that allows him to continue to run for the presidency.

President Mamadou Tandja of Niger was due to step down in December due to constitutional term limits, but he organized a much-criticised referendum in August to extend his rule for another three years and to allow him unlimited runs for the presidency.

The poll drew wide criticism both in the country and abroad as a backward step for democracy and a threat to stability in a country which is the scene of al Qaeda activity and a Tuareg insurgency. The opposition accused Tandja of violating the constitution and tampering with the vote.

Falké Bacharou, a former vice president of Niger's Parliament, told FRANCE 24 that even before the referendum, the harm had already been done.

"There's been a coup d'état," said Bacharou, "of which the institutions have been the victims. A coup d'état that may not have been military, but that took place nonetheless. That's for sure. But the people of Niger are going to fight. We can't accept that it's the end of democracy. It's just not possible."

Tandja won the controversial referendum with 92.5 percent of the vote. Tandja argued that the people of Niger want him to stay to oversee multibillion-dollar oil, mining and infrastructure deals which could transform the impoverished country's economy.

Date created : 2009-08-14

COMMENT(S)