Monday, July 13, 2009

Lawyers challenge Niger president

Niger's lawyers have called a strike, as President Mamadou Tandja begins his campaign to hold a referendum for a third termin office.

The lawyers say their action is to show solidarity with the Constitutional Court, which was dissolved after declaring Mr Tandja's plan illegal.

The president wants citizens to vote on 4 August to allow him to hold office for three more years.

The EU has delayed some aid to the uranium-rich country over the row.

Mamadou Tandja says the people of Niger want him to stay.

Source: BBC News, Monday, 13 July 2009:
Lawyers challenge Niger president.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

EU blocks aid to Niger in protest at president's bid to keep power

July 12, 2009 BRUSSELS (AFP):
EU blocks aid to Niger in protest at president's bid to keep power
The European Commission has blocked an aid payment to Niger in protest at an attempt by the country's president to stay in power beyond his elected term, a commissioner said Saturday.

President Mamadou Tandja plans to carry out a constitutional referendum on August 4 in order to win backing for a constitution change that would allow him to run for a third term in office.

"A letter has been sent to President Tandja to inform him of the decision to postpone for the moment an aid payment," EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel told AFP.

"It does not amount to a suspension. But at the moment, the Commission believes governance in the country is unsatisfactory and we cannot go ahead with the payment," he said.

The size of the aid payment was not given.

Under the current law the 71-year-old former colonel is barred from staying in office beyond December 22, when his second elected five-year term expires.

The president has dissolved the constitutional court for ruling three times against his plan and has dissolved parliament, which also opposed him.