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Military junta appoints transitional government

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-01

Niger's military junta has named a new transitional government of 20 ministers, including five soldiers, after seizing power from former President Mamadou Tandja on February 18. Junta leaders have promised to hold democratic elections in the future.

AFP - The military junta in Niger on Monday formed a new transitional government of 20 ministers, including five soldiers and five women, according to an official statement read on state radio.

The defence, sport and environment portfolios went to three generals close to toppled president Mamadou Tandja, the statement from the Supreme Council for Restoration of Democracy (CSRD) -- the junta -- said.

CSRD leader Salou Djibo said on Sunday that no member of the junta that seized power in a coup this month or member of the transitional government would stand in promised presidential elections.

The CSRD seized power on February 18, ousting Tandja, who had changed the constitution to stay in office beyond two terms.

It suspended the constitution of the uranium-rich west African state, dissolved the cabinet and promised to organise elections at the end of a transition period, whose length has yet to be decided.

Niger's newly-appointed civilian prime minister Mahamadou Danda urged his military bosses this week to ensure a swift return to democratic rule, a call echoed by the international community.

"The days of autocratic regimes in this country are over," Djibo said on Sunday, insisting "our only goal is to accompany the return to democracy in our dear homeland."

"The Council commits itself to restoring the constitutional order that will be proposed by the consultative council," set up to advise the transition authorities on Niger's political future, he said.

Date created : 2010-03-02

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