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Africa

President Tandja's new constitution put into effect

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-19

A new constitution extending the term limit and expanding the powers of Niger President Mamadou Tandja has been promulgated. The amendments to the constitution were validated by a referendum vote, despite severe criticism from the opposition.

AFP - Niger President Mamadou Tandja on Tuesday promulgated a new constitution which will allow him to stand for re-election and then seek unlimited mandates.
   
"The president of the republic, head of state, signed a degree bearing the promulgation of the constitution adopted by the referendum of August 4," said an official communique read out on state radio.
   

Prime Minister Seini Oumarou also presented his government's resignation, the statement added, without giving a time frame.
   
Niger's constitutional court validated the result of the referendum to amend the constitution of the uranium-rich west African nation.
   
The opposition, however, denounced what it said was a "coup d'etat" by Tandja, and the referendum also came under attack from the international community.
   
Tandja, 71, has consistently claimed that his bid to cling to power was to fulfil "the will of the people."
   
The referendum will allow the president, in power since 1999, to stand for re-election after the December 22 end of his second tenure and thereafter seek repeated mandates.
   
It also beefs up the president's powers by making him the "sole holder of executive power." The president will head the army, name the prime minister and have complete control over the cabinet.

Date created : 2009-08-19

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