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Cablegate: Niger: President Tandja Re-Appoints Cabinet, Sets

VZCZCXRO6461
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0609 2311650
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191650Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5268
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1645
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHDC

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000609

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 Tandja Re-appoints Cabinet, Sets
National Assembly Election for October 20

Ref: a) Niamey 599, b) Niamey 479, c) Niamey 378, d) Niamey 357, e)
08 Niamey 960

1. On August 19, President Tandja re-named the same 31 members to
his new Cabinet following their August 18 resignations made in
response to his promulgation of the new constitution (ref A). In
his announcement, President Tandja re-appointed Prime Minister Seini
Oumarou, Minister of State for the Interior, State Security, and
Decentralization Albade Abouba, and the 29 line ministers.

2. On August 18, PM Oumarou presented the letter of resignation of
his cabinet "in compliance with the formality required by the
promulgation of a new constitution." Under the new constitution,
"The President of the Republic is the exclusive holder of executive
powers...He appoints the Prime Minister and the cabinet, and
determines their functions...The Prime Minister and cabinet members
report to him."

3. During the announcement, President Tandja also announced that the
National Assembly election would be held on October 20 to replace
the legislative body he dismissed on May 26 (ref C). In response,
opposition political party representatives have threatened to
reconstitute the previous National Assembly on the 90th day
following its dismissal, as both the 1999 and the August 4
constitutions call for elections to replace dismissed National
Assemblies within a 45 - 90 day window following their dissolution.

4. Comment: This represents the fourth action taken by President
Tandja with respect to the Government of Niger's cabinet during the
past year. On June 29, President Tandja replaced the eight Social
Democratic Convention (CDS) ministers who resigned on June 25 (ref
B). On May 14, President Tandja shuffled three ministerial chairs
and appointed a new Minister of Justice (ref D); in January 2009, he
named a new Minister of Environment and the Fight against
Desertification; and in September 2008 he appointed a new Minister
of Transport and Civil Aviation (ref E). End comment.

ALLEN

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