News / Africa

Initial Results Show Approval of Niger's New Constitution

The head of the military junta, General Salou Djibo, casts his ballot in Niamey as Niger voted today in a constitutional referendum, 31 Oct 2010
The head of the military junta, General Salou Djibo, casts his ballot in Niamey as Niger voted today in a constitutional referendum, 31 Oct 2010
TEXT SIZE - +

Partial results from Sunday's referendum in Niger show overwhelming support for constitutional changes that would lessen the president's power.  

With nearly a quarter of the ballots counted, it appears at least 80 percent of Niger's voters voted "yes" on a referendum to change the West African country's constitution.

During Sunday's vote, military leader General Salou Djibo called for Nigeriens to vote for the change in order to usher in a new democratic system.

He said the referendum would lead to a democratic system of political stability.  Djibo has served as head of the interim government in Niger since a February coup displaced then-president Mamadou Tandja.

In August of 2009, Tandja pushed through a new constitution for Niger that abolished term limits and increased the president's power.  When Niger's parliament and constitutional court said the vote was illegal, he dissolved both bodies and ruled by decree.

The president's refusal to give up power at the end of his second five-year term sparked widespread protests, and after military leaders toppled him, they named a consultative counsel to draft a new constitution . The counsel settled on what is known as a semi-presidential system where the chief executive's powers are limited.

But voter turnout to approve or disapprove this new constitution was low, said one election official, Salif Boubacar.

He says he does not know what the people think or if the referendum was important for them.  He says there were a lot of people who came to get their voting cards, but did not vote.

The alliance of political parties that supported former president Tandja says the new constitution's weakening of executive powers is a mistake because Niger needs a strong central authority to manage such a vast, underdeveloped country with huge population growth.

Presidential and legislative elections in Niger are scheduled for January 31.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid