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Cablegate: Niger: President Addresses Nation, Enacts New

VZCZCXRO5563
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0599 2301912
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181912Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5267
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1644
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHDC

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000599

DEPT FOR AF/W AND AF/RSA
PLS PASS TO USAID FOR AFR/W
ACCRA ALSO FOR USAID/WA
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU - J MAYBURY
PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHER

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM SOCI PHUM NG
SUBJECT: Niger: President Addresses Nation, Enacts New
Constitution

Ref: a) Niamey 596 b) Niamey 584 c) Niamey 582 d) Niamey
570

1. On August 17, President Tandja addressed the nation following the
Constitutional Court's validation of the August 4 referendum for a
new constitutional (ref A). Tandja thanked Nigeriens for "massively
voting 'yes' for this Constitution, paving the way for the Sixth
Republic...(and for) having opted for the institutional reforms that
I proposed...in order to pursue the great work that we started, for
the good of the Nigerien people as a whole." In particular, he
expressed his appreciation to the government, religious leaders, and
defense and security forces for having played a key role in ensuring
a "well organized" and peaceful referendum.

2. Referring to the situation in the run-up and after the
referendum, President Tandja said that he deplored "a climate of
tension created and maintained by a handful of people who, through
incendiary declarations and all kinds of threats, had hoped to
torpedo the people's will...In truth, these ill-intentioned people
and their foreign relays predicted fire and sword in this country."

3. Blowing hot and cold, he then called on Nigeriens to "come
together and heal the wounds of the antagonism that may have tensed
relations between people." He further said, "Together, we have
prepared the ground for a fresh start for our country through the
great construction projects launched." Tandja indicated that he had
no doubt that "this mobilization will continue...so a comfortable
majority can emerge from the upcoming legislative elections."

4. On August 18, President Tandja signed a decree to enact the draft
constitution into the law of the land. It will take effect on the
date published in the "Official Journal of the Republic of Niger."
In the afternoon's Council of Ministers' meeting, Prime Minister
Seini Oumarou presented the Cabinet's resignation, a formality that
permits President Tandja to form a new cabinet The gazetting of
the new constitution will mark the formation of the Sixth Republic.

ALLEN

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