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Cablegate: Niger: Opposition Protests Again; Pro-Tandja Rally

VZCZCXRO5664
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0977 3481706
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141706Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5516
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000977

DEPT FOR AF/W, AF/RSA, AND DRL/AE
PLS PASS TO USAID/AFR/W
ACCRA FOR USAID/WA
PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHER

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM SOCI PHUM NG
SUBJECT: Niger: Opposition Protests Again; Pro-Tandja Rally
Anticipated

1. On December 13, Niger's Opposition, led by the Coordination of
Forces for Democracy and the Republic (CFDR), organized a rally in
Niamey to demand that President Tandja step down at the end of his
second five-year term of office on December 22, as permitted under
the 5th Republic (the pre-August 4, 2009 constitution). The
roughly 2500 protesters proceeded without violence or arrests.
(Comment: The granting of a rally permit is noteworthy, and may
pertain to behind-the-scene discussions between the Government of
Niger (GON) officials and the Opposition to reduce political
tensions. End comment.)

2. The Patriotic Movement for the Defense of the Nation and People,
supporters of President Tandja continuance in office, have called
for a nationwide "rally of support" December 15. The event seeks to
counter the "failure of outsiders to understand the political
realities of Niger's democracy," express support for the 6th
Republic and its new constitution, and resist "unfair pressures"
against Niger.

ALLEN

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