- Niger’s leader, Mamadou Tandja has made more enemies despite an overwhelming support in a referendum for a third term running as president.
The European Union has also joined other international bodies condemning the constitutional overturn in the west African country, and threatening to cut aid and other support, while reports from the country have also revealed a spate of arrests on opposition members.
Reports from country said on Monday, Marou Amadou, leader of the United Front for the Protection of Democracy, was one of those taken by police for what was called an alleged breach of state security.
Though the international community has voiced its dislike of the ‘yes-no’ vote to keep the president in power, political analysts have said western interests in Niger’s uranium and oil riches could dampen the diplomatic fires against Mr Tandja soon.
Niger's president had vowed not to refrain from holding a referendum despite the mounting international pressure on his government.
In his public address, last month, President Tandja said he did not come to power to serve international opinion, vowing not to let any international pressure to divert his plans of achieving a useful goal for the people of Niger.
The West African bloc, ECOWAS had threatened Niger with sanctions or suspension if Mr Tandja goes ahead with the referendum. And, he has gone ahead.
President Tandja dissolved parliament just a day after the Constitutional Court rejected a call for a referendum on 25 May to allow him to seek a third term in government.
Under the current law, President Tandja is barred from staying in office beyond 22 December, when his second elected five-year term expires.
The 70 years old leader was first elected in 1999 and re-elected in 2004.
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