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Niger: Referendum Scheduled for New Constitution

(June 12, 2009) The Council of Ministers of Niger has scheduled a referendum on a proposed new constitution; the vote will take place on August 4, 2009.

The poll will determine whether the President of the country, Mamadou Tandja, will be permitted to extend his term for three years, as the new constitution would permit him to stay in office after the end of his second term late this year. The draft constitution institutes a presidential system, concentrating more power in the top post than is presently the case.

Demonstrations against the proposal the first week of June turned violent; additional demonstrations, although banned by the government, are reportedly planned. (Niger to Hold Constitutional Referendum on Aug. 4, REUTERS INDIA, June 6, 2009, available at