In Niger, a human rights group has
refused to recognize the results of the recent referendum that extends
President Mamadou Tandja's term for three additional years.
The United Front
for the Safeguard of Democratic Assets (FUSAD)
says it will soon petition a West African Court to force President Tandja to
power after his term expires later in December.
But supporters of Tandja
dismissed FUSAD's pronouncement, describing it as baseless and unpatriotic.
Maru Amadou is a leading member of FUSAD. He told VOA that
President Tandja should not be allowed continuously to subvert Niger's
constitution with impunity.
of all, you must know that it is an illegal referendum that has been said by
our constitutional court. When a president violates his own constitution on
which he came to power, he cannot be the president of this republic," Amadou
described the referendum as a plot to hoodwink Nigeriens and extend President
Tandja's rule for three more years.
can tell you that Tandja is now a rebel. So we should fight against his
presidency until he falls because we cannot accept this in Africa," he said.
said the referendum a plot to siphon the country's resources.
is an insult for all Africa the enterprise of Tandja. You cannot accept on the
reason of oil and uranium because you and your family (Tandja) have achieved
some amount of money and you don't want people to know the reality. You decided
to block …our democratic institutions," Amadou said.
said the president is trampling on the rights of Nigeriens.
can tell you that democracy without rule of law is totalitarian. That is why
you have to accept that anything illegal cannot achieve any effective result,"
said Nigeriens massively refused to participate in the referendum.
you take the referendum… Tandja didn't achieve even five percent of the people
of this country. Yesterday, he was illegal and now he is illegitimate, so he
should accept the consequences of his illegitimacy. That is why we are sure
that all the people of Niger are opposed to his referendum and opposed to his
stay in power," Amadou said.
described as illegal President Tandja's ruling by emergency executive powers
after dissolving parliament and reconstituting the constitutional court.
cannot take exceptional power because the national assembly is opposed the
referendum… He cancelled a large part of the constitution only to achieve his
aim of staying in power. He cannot govern with decree and ordinance like a man
who came to power by coup d'état. We cannot accept it," he said.
Meanwhile, Niger's electoral body announced
last week that the controversial referendum, on constitutional changes to
remove term limits, was approved by a vote of 92.5 percent.
Both the local and
international community have condemned the referendum, describing it as a
setback to Niger's democracy.