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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid