- Nigerien trade unions have called for a general strike today marking an end of President Mamadou Tandja's constitutional term, union source have confirmed.
The workers from seven trade unions under the Coordination of Forces for Democracy and Republic (CFDR) have demanded a 50 percent reduction in tax on salaries, as well as salary hike, putting pressure on President Tandja as his tenure expires today.
The call for strike follows a series of demonstrations followed by rallies and conferences led by intellectuals for CFDR to demand the return to normal constitutional rule in the West African state.
In May, Mr 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 when his mandate expires on 22 December.
The Unions said the situation in Niger might get worse, taking into consideration the threats the country faces after bilateral and multilateral partners decided to suspend Niger from receiving aid.
The CFDR opposed the 4 August disputed referendum held by president Tandja to extend his rule by three years.
However, the government sources have termed the call for strike as a desperate move by opposition parties seeking to destabilise the west African state.
“Seemingly, those demands are normal, legitimate and social, but when they are asking for the reduction of the tax rate by 50 percent, this shows the lack of thought with which the unionists are leading the union movement in the country,” government sources told local reporters.
The May decision for a referendum has called for wide condemnation for President Tandja’s administration which led to both regional and international sanctions.
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