News / Africa

Former Ruling Party Condemns Niger Coup

Niger's former ruling party on Monday condemned last week's coup against President Mamadou Tandja.  The country's new military leaders say they will run the country until politicians agree on a new constitution.

With President Tandja and his prime minister still under house arrest, Niger's former ruling party says people should blame the country's new military leaders if the situation deteriorates further.

Seini Oumarou is president of the former ruling National Movement for Society and Development.

Oumarou says President Tandja's party vigorously condemns last Thursday's military coup.  He says he will hold the soldiers behind it responsible, if they lose control of the country and Niger's political, social and economic situation deteriorates.

Thousands of people took to the streets over the weekend to thank the military for toppling President Tandja.  He had grown increasingly unpopular since using a controversial referendum last August to expand his powers and give himself another three years in office.

The revised constitution has been suspended and President Tandja's cabinet has been dissolved.  But the coup leaders say that most government ministers will keep their jobs for the time being.

Major Salou Djibo, who led the revolt, is promising to establish a consultative council for decision-making.  The new Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy appears to have convinced regional diplomats that it is serious about returning to civilian rule, in part, because several of its key members were involved in Niger's 1999 coup.  That military take-over lasted less than a year before organizing elections that were won by President Tandja.

The Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, says the current coup leaders are promising to include all political parties, civil society groups and trade unions in a consultative process toward a new constitution, and credible and transparent elections.

In Washington, U.S. State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley says the military leaders will be judged by their actions.

"We do note the public assurances by the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy for a speedy return of civilian rule to Niger," said P.J. Crowley. "We support the efforts of ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations to promote Niger's speedy return to the rule of law.  And together, we will hold Niger to those public pledges."

An announcement on state radio late Monday said Major Djibo will serve as head of state with the power to appoint and dismiss ministers - including the prime minister.

The announcement said a "constitutional committee" and a new court will be established to replace the dissolved constitutional court and supreme court.  It said a separate body will be established to draft new electoral laws and prepare a new constitution to be voted on by the people of Niger.   

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid