Niger's main opposition partisans will
support their leader Mahamadou Issifu in court Monday when he is expected to
face charges of defying a decree by President Mamadou Tandja.
This comes a day
ahead of a meeting between members of the Pan- African Parliament, the
government, and the opposition.
African parliamentarians are in Niger to ascertain and report to the Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the political crisis.
opposition has been demanding the regional body impose sanctions on President
Tandja and his administration after accusing him of subverting the
But the government responded by arresting several opposition
leaders including opposition leader Issifu, leader of Niger's Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS).
PNDS Deputy President Bazoum Mohammed said that opposition partisans will resolutely show their
support in court today for their leader.
call (on) our people to go with him (opposition leader) and to support him. And
we are sure that they (government) will refuse the people access to the
justice, and I think that we will have to fight against the police," Mohammed
urged opposition supporters not be violent while backing their leader Issifu in
won't be violent. It is a public ceremony and they (police) have no reason to
forbid the people to go there. They must allow people to go and attend the
ceremony," he said.
accused the embattled president of dictatorship.
Tandja does not want to have parties with supporters in a democratic system. He
wants one-man power, a dictatorship power, and he uses the justice (system) to
deal with political issues," Mohammed said.
said the Pan African legislators will be meeting all stakeholders in Niger.
we have MP's (members of parliament) from the Pan-African Parliament who are
here. From tomorrow (Tuesday), they will have to meet with the government, with
the opposition and with the civil society," he said.
said the opposition is hopeful that the African lawmakers will witness the
expect that they will understand Niger's situation. And they will do to the
Pan-African Parliament a good report and we hope that after this report, the
Pan-African Parliament will (give) good recommendation to the African Union,"
said the opposition wants sanctions imposed on President Tandja's
will say to them (lawmakers) to tell to the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West
African States) Executive Commission to implement the sanctions they have
decided to take," he said.
said the regional body's lack of action emboldens President Tandja.
could not only speak. Speaking only is encouraging Tandja to go ahead on his
dictatorship power," he said.
Tandja recently amended the constitution that extends his presidential term
limits for three additional years.