Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • UN peacekeepers battle jihadists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

Africa

Junta promises upcoming elections, gives no date

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-20

Niger's military junta, which seized power in a coup this week, announced plans for upcoming elections on Saturday, but did not specify a date. A spokesperson for the junta also said that all of deposed president Tandja's ministers have been freed.

AFP - Niger's new military leaders promised to hold elections, but failed to name a date, as thousands rallied in support of the coup that ousted the strongman of the uranium-rich west African nation.
   
"Our intention is to stabilise the political situation... We plan to organise elections but first we have to stabilise the situation," Colonel Djibrilla Hamidou Hima, one of the junta leaders told journalists in Mali.
   
Niger's opposition and the international community have pressed the junta which overthrew President Mamadou Tandja two days ago, to organise elections and return the country to civilian rule as soon as possible.
   
Speaking in Bamako, Hima said the election date "will be announced at the right moment... It has been hardly 48 hours."
   
"We want to rally the people and create conditions" for an election, he added.
   
He said he had "explained" the reasons for the coup to the region's leaders gathered in the Malian capital for a summit, claiming: "They have understood us."
   
Niger's opposition also called for polls at a mass rally in the capital Niamey as they threw their weight behind Tandja's ouster on Thursday.
   
Supporters crammed into buses, cars, took lifts on motorbikes or simply walked to gather in front of parliament for a demonstration called by the opposition alliance, Coordination of Democratic Forces for the Republic.
   
"We urge the soldiers to be fair and organise free and democratic elections and then withdraw," Doudou Rahama, an aide to the head of the dissolved parliament, told the 10,000-strong crowd.
   
Captain Harouna Djibrilla Adamou, one of the junta leaders, vowed never to "let down" the people.
   
"What we did was in the best interest of Niger.... We ask you to stay calm, we're here for you, we're listening and we assure you that we will never let you down," he told the rally.
   
"The Sixth Republic is dead, it came through the back door and has gone out in shame," Mohamed Bazoum, vice president of the Niger Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) said.
   
The alliance behind Saturday's rally groups opposition parties, human rights organisations and trade unions that had in recent months fiercely opposed Tandja's refusal to step down after his mandate expired in December.
   
Many people were seen shaking the hands of soldiers guarding the rally venue. Pro-junta rallies took place elsewhere in the country as another was planned for the second largest city of Zinder on Sunday.
   
The 15-nation Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) also pressed for credible elections during a meeting with the junta leader.
   
"We want a transition... to be driven by credible, transparent elections open to all," the bloc's outgoing president Mohammed Ibn Chambas said after the talks late Friday.
   
Soldiers stormed the presidential palace on Thursday as the 71-year-old Tandja chaired a cabinet meeting. They seized the president, took him to a military camp and detained his ministers.
   
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi Saturday sent an envoy asking for guarantees that Tandja and his family not be harmed.
   
Niger's new rulers, who call themselves the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD), have suspended the constitution that Tandja forced through in a contested August referendum and dissolved his government.
   
Tandja had changed the constitution last year to hold on to his post beyond a 10-year-limit, tightening his grip on power in a move that infuriated democratic forces and widened the chasm between him and the opposition.
   
The coup has been widely condemned abroad including by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the African Union.
   
The United States called for a "speedy return to democracy" and former colonial ruler France demanded fresh elections "in the coming months" as the European Union also denounced the coup.
   
Libya has also offered help for a "speedy" return to democracy.

Date created : 2010-02-20

  • NIGER

    UN condemns coup as thousands celebrate president's downfall

    Read more

  • NIGER

    African Union suspends Niger as thousands celebrate coup

    Read more

  • NIGER

    'Supreme Council' claims to have suspended constitution

    Read more

COMMENT(S)