afrol News, 7 June - The independent committee elaborating the basic texts for Niger's new democracy is making progress. The electoral code has already been delivered and the new constitution is around the corner.
Niger's transitional Prime Minister Mahamadou Danda received the independent committee in a Niamey hotel this weekend, asking for a status report of the committee's work. The basic texts elaborated by the committee form the basis for Niger's return to a constitutional order and transition process.
The Chairman of the committee, Professor Mamoudou Gazibo, focused on his "excitement" for being allowed to "contribute to the restoration of democracy in Niger." But he also assured Prime Minister Danda that progress was made.
Professor Mamoudou Gazibo emphasised that his committee was allowed to conduct its work "in complete independence." At no time had there been any pressure from Niger's ruling military junta, he guaranteed.
According to Prime Minister Danda, the committee already had delivered its first basic document, being the nation's new electoral code. The new code had empowered the transitional government to reorganise the National Independent Election Commission (CENI) and to appoint its new president.
The electoral code had been given priority to enable CENI start preparing for general elections that will reintroduce civilian rule. Niger's junta leader Salou Djibo earlier this month announced that he plans to hand over powers to an elected President by March next year, but that the election timetable would be completely up to the new CENI president to decide.
Prime Minister Danda said that the next document expected from the independent committee would be a "draft proposal for the constitution," on which the committee already has worked. No deadline has been set for the new constitution draft, but as it is expected that the CENI will have to organise a referendum for its approval, the committee's schedule is tight.
And the committee's work does not stop with the constitutional draft. More basic documents are needed to reshape Niger. According to Prime Minister Danda, these will include a charter of political parties; a statute defining the role of the opposition, terms of access to public information; and further documents related to public administration and conditions of appointment of officers, the Auditor General; and finally an innovation of Niger's overall institutional architecture.
"These texts, once adopted, would depoliticise the administration into a tool for national development, but also create the conditions for efficiency, transparency and good management of public resources," PM Danda said. "This will definitely become the foundation of a successful establishment of good governance and democracy in our country," he added.
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