News / Africa

Political Parties in Niger Want 9-Month Transition to Civilian Rule

Soldiers stand guard outside the office of Salou Djibo, leader of the coup that overthrew Niger's president Mamadou Tandja in Niamey, 21 Feb 2010
Soldiers stand guard outside the office of Salou Djibo, leader of the coup that overthrew Niger's president Mamadou Tandja in Niamey, 21 Feb 2010

Political parties in Niger say there should be a nine-month transition program to return to civilian rule. Soldiers took power in a coup against President Mamadou Tandja.

Just one month after their coup, Niger's new military leaders have already appointed a civilian prime minister and say they will organize elections to return to civilian rule once political and civil society leaders agree on a new constitution.

Abdou Labo is part of the political coalition that opposed the previous government of President Tandja. He says the country's new military leaders have restored calm, ending Niger's political tension and restoring its international credibility.

Labo says the next step is establishing a serious and credible national consultative council to make real the hopes that have followed this coup. One of the council's missions will be determining the length of a transition back to civilian rule. Labo says the length of this transition is important to political parties who fought the previous government to return to constitutional order.

President Tandja grew increasingly unpopular following a referendum last August that changed the constitution to expand his powers and give him another three years in office.  When Niger's constitutional court and parliament said the referendum was illegal, President Tandja replaced them with new judges and new lawmakers who backed his new government.

With those authorities now swept from power and the revised constitution suspended, Labo says it is time to move forward with a transitional authority.

Labo says the international community is also waiting to see what Niger does about a transitional authority before lifting diplomatic and economic sanctions. Labo says Niger's political parties believe a nine-month transitional period is reasonable to conduct a national dialogue mediated by the Economic Community of West African States.

Said Djinnit is the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Representative for West Africa. He says Niger's military rulers have demonstrated their commitment to restoring constitutional order.

"The impression we are getting is that they have a sense of direction," he said.  "They have a sense of where they want to lead the country and to return the country to legitimate authorities."

Djinnit says the United Nations, the regional ECOWAS alliance, and the African Union are working together to encourage Niger's military leaders to follow through on their promises.

"What I think the international community would expect is a roadmap. And they made it clear that they will seek the advice of a council to be established soon composed of representatives from political parties, civil society, and social-economic groupings to advise on the conditions and modalities of the transition," he added.

Civilian Prime Minister Mahamadou Danda says the military has given him a free hand to conduct the activities of a transitional government that will not include politicians.

The military has already said that none of the members of its ruling council or the transitional government will be allowed to stand in the next election.

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs