Niger's opposition parties have vowed
to resist a reported attempt by President Mamadou Tandja to install his son as
a member of parliament.
The opposition parties argue that Tandja's son, who is
37 years old, is being groomed to replace his father.
comes after President Tandja amended the constitution adding three years to his
term. The opposition contends that after the three years, Tandja's son will
reach the constitutionally mandated
age of 40 to qualify for a presidential bid.
But the government dismissed the
accusation as baseless.Former legislatorAbdullahi
Jauri was just released from detention after opposing the new constitution. He told VOA that Tandja wants to turn Niger into a monarchy.
it will be confirmed, then that will be the starting of the confirmation of the
monarchy because after three years, the boy will now be 40 years, so he can be
ready by law to contest (for the presidency). That is the bonus of three years
he (Tandja) gave himself," Jauri said.
He said the opposition will
keep on fighting against the controversial constitution.
"We are contesting the whole
fixed constitution. So the whole opposition, nobody is going to contest (the
upcoming election) because it is not a free and fair election. Everything is
ready made. You know already who will be elected to (represent) the
constituency… like they did at the referendum," he said.
Jauri said opponents will
refuse to participate in a "charade" of an election.
"There is no point to go and
spend your money and energy for nothing. But we will continue to fight for the
right of democracy (that was) given us," Jauri said.
He said despite arrests,
former legislators are determined to return to parliament.
"We are going to open
parliament because that is one of the reasons he (Tandja) came and arrested all
the former members of the parliament… to (prevent) this ceremony. Whether he will
take us to jail or whatever, we will still put back this parliament because he
has not respected the constitution," he said.
Jauri said the opposition
would be meeting today to decide the next line of action.
"We are going to now have an
extraordinary meeting of the civil society and the political parties, and we
will see the step we are going to take forward. As early as today, we will
determine what actions we are going to (take)," Jauri said.
He said the opposition is
determined not to fight to protect the rights and the freedoms for all