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Cablegate: Niger: Ecowas Mediator Submits New Proposal

VZCZCXRO4271
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0122 0471019
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161018Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0009
INFO ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0001

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000122

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PHUM NG
SUBJECT: NIGER: ECOWAS Mediator Submits New Proposal

REF: A) NIAMEY 00109, B) NIAMEY 0048, C) NIAMEY 0029, D) NIAMEY 0025

1. (SBU) On February 10, in a formal document, ECOWAS Mediator for
Niger General (retired) and former Nigerian head of state
Abdulsalami Abubakar presented a new proposal for a way out of
Niger's political crisis. The proposal is based on position papers
previously submitted by the People's Movement for the Restoration
of the Republic (MPRR - Government) and the Coordination of Forces
for Democracy and the Republic (CFDR - Opposition) in the ongoing
Inter-Nigerien Political Dialogue (INDP).

2. (SBU) General Abubakar's new proposal for a political transition
is composed of 17 articles entitled "Inter-Nigerien Political
Dialogue: Draft Agreement for a Political Transition in Niger."
The ECOWAS Mediator proposal calls for a transition led by a
"National Reconciliation Government" made up of seven bodies as
follows: 1) President Tandja remaining President; 2) a Prime
Minister to be selected by the Opposition and approved by the INDP
and a Cabinet composed of representatives of the President's
supporters, the Opposition, civil society, labor unions, women's
groups, and youth to be approved by consensus; 3) the National
Assembly be extended to 160 members from its current 113, with the
Opposition comprising the added members; 4) a new Constitutional
Court created by consensus; 5) a new Independent National Electoral
Commission (CENI) created by consensus; 6) a new High Council on
Communication (CSC) created by consensus; and 7) a new National
Council for Political Dialogue (CNDP) created by consensus. In
addition, a Constitutional Conference would be created by consensus
to draft a new constitution through a consultative process.

3. (SBU) Comment: It is clear that General Abubakar is trying to
keep the ball rolling in this lengthy process. The new proposal
provides for power-sharing in the executive between the President
and the Prime Minister. The GON, however, considers this an
affront it cannot accept. The Opposition, however, agrees with the
Mediator's proposal, but questions how the proposal to extend the
National Assembly would be implemented. (Note: If the opposition
were to participate in the current National Assembly, it would be
tantamount to recognition of the August 4 illegal referendum and
6th Republic. End note.) Although General Abubakar has yet to set
a date for the resumption of the INDP, it is likely that it will
continue sometime after the conclusion of ECOWAS Heads of State and
Government Summit slated for February 16-20 in Abuja. End comment.
WHITAKER

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