In Niger, the resignation of some
cabinet ministers to contest in the October 20 parliamentary election is escalating
of President Mamadou Tandja's cabinet, including Prime Minister Seini Oumarou
opposition dismissed the resignation as a dictatorial ploy of Tandja and
reiterated its decision not to participate in the parliamentary vote.
President Tandja dissolved parliament after members opposed his constitutional
amendment that extended his rule for three additional years.
activist Abdul Kamardine said that Mr. Tandja wants to
push his staunch allies into parliament to solidify his ultimate powers.
general understanding here is that people don't actually understand as to what
President Tandja wants. That is why there is all this confusion all over the
place," Kamardine said.
said the resignation was a surprise to Nigeriens.
Prime Minister Seini Oumarou is resigning the ministry of communication. Ben
Omar is resigning the commerce and industry ministry. One Mr. Bagi, as well as one minister who is
in charge of religious and humanitarian affairs, Mr. Issaka Labo. So there are
four of them," he said.
said there are indications the president wants control of parliament.
are thinking that the prime minister is trying to be the next president of the
House of Assembly. Because he understood that they are there just because they
are scared of him (Tandja). Because if you refuse to go with him, he will
create all sorts of problems to you, arrest you, take you to Koutoukale
(maximum prison), etcetera, etcetera," Kamardine said.
said Nigeriens seem be tired of the political crisis.
people are saying, okay, let him (Tandja) do whatever he wants. He is 71. He
doesn't have enough to live again…Instead of creating violence. And whatever in
the country, let him do whatever he can and we will see. He can't last more
than three," he said.
said there seems to be nobody to stop President Tandja's power.
the house of assembly he wants to create, they don't have any power. He is creating a house of representatives and
a senate too. So in the senate he is
planning to put some traditional rulers, can you imagine?" Kamardine asked.
said the opposition seems too weak to challenge President Tandja.
just choose to do an (anti-violent) opposition. So when this one is…peaceful, I
don't think a dictator can slow down with what he is doing. They need to maybe
make it violent. It is very important, but this way, Tandja is feeling at ease,
and he is doing whatever he wants," he said.
said the president has so far refused to heed the international community's
call for a return to democracy.
Tandja has so far rejected demands to relinquish power, claiming Nigeriens want
him to stay to continue with his "good" works,