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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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