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Cablegate: Niger: Csrd Signs First Official Executive Order

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DE RUEHNM #0190/01 0541422
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231421Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0029
INFO RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000190

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DEPT FOR AF/W AND AF/RSA
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ACCRA ALSO FOR USAID/WA
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU ??? J MAYBURY
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PHUM NG
SUBJECT: Niger: CSRD Signs First Official Executive Order

REF: NIAMEY 00176

1. Summary: On February 22, the President of the Supreme Council
for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD) signed an executive order
organizing state authority for the transition period in Niger. The
order reaffirms that Niger is a republic that is respectful of
human rights and the rule of law; the CSRD will exercise executive
and legislative powers and promote national unity and social
cohesion; the CSRD president will appoint military and civilian
officials; Niger will comply with previously signed international
agreements; the Supreme Court is replaced by a State Court; the
Constitutional Court is replaced by a Constitutional Committee; a
body will be created to draft a constitution and an electoral code;
and finally that the CSRD will soon make public a schedule for
elections. The executive order was issued even though there seem
to be rumblings within the camp pertaining to the party's
structure. End summary.

2. On February 22, state television read the text of an executive
order signed by Major Salou Djibo, President of the CSRD,
reorganizing state powers for the transition period in Niger.
Highlights of the executive order follow:

(Begin text)

-- The State of Niger is a Republic. It reaffirms its attachment
to the principles of the rule of law and pluralistic democracy;

-- Aware of its responsibility before the Nigerien people, the
Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy ensures the
protection of national unity and social cohesion;

-- It ensures equality for all before the law, regardless of sex
and social, racial, ethnic or religious origin;

-- It further guarantees citizen's human rights and liberties as
provided by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the
1981 African Human Rights and People's Charter;

-- It guarantees the restoration of the democratic process engaged
by the Nigerien people;

-- The aforementioned rights and obligations shall be exercised in
compliance with laws and regulations in force;

-- The State of Niger is and remains bound by international
Treaties and Accords previously subscribed and duly ratified;

-- The Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD)
shall be vested with legislative and executive powers until the
installation of new democratic institutions;

-- The Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD)
shall be the highest authority for the design and direction of
national policy;

-- It shall be led by a President who shall exercise the function
of Head of State and Head of Government;

-- The President of the Supreme Council for the Restoration of
Democracy (CSRD) shall name by decree a Prime Minister as well as
other members of the transition cabinet;

-- He shall terminate their function in the same forms;

-- The President of the Supreme Council for the Restoration of
Democracy shall chair the Cabinet meetings;

-- He shall sign executive orders and decrees;

-- He shall appoint civilian and military officials;

-- The President of the Supreme Council for the Restoration of
Democracy may delegate some of his attributions to the Prime
Minister;

-- The Prime Minister shall lead and coordinate government action
based on the orientations defined by the Supreme Council for the
Restoration of Democracy;

-- In lieu of the dissolved Supreme Court, a State Court shall be
created; its composition, attributions, and functioning shall be
determined by executive order of the President of the Supreme
Council for the Restoration of Democracy;

-- In lieu of the dissolved Constitutional Court, a Constitutional
Committee shall be created; its composition, attributions, and
functioning shall be determined by executive order of the President
of the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy;

-- In lieu of the dissolved High Council for Communication (CSC), a
National Communication Observatory (ONC)shall be created; its
composition, attributions, and functioning shall be determined by
executive order of the President of the Supreme Council for the
Restoration of Democracy;

-- Under the authority of the President of Supreme Council for the
Restoration of Democracy, a body shall be created and charged with
preparing the fundamental texts of the Republic, namely the
Constitution and the Electoral Code. The name, composition, and
attributions of this body shall be determined by executive order;

-- The aforementioned draft Constitution shall be adopted by the
Nigerien people by way of a referendum;

-- At the completion of a period to be determined by Supreme
Council for the Restoration of Democracy, the latter, as well as
the other transition bodies, shall be replaced by new democratic
institutions; and

-- The Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD)
shall issue a schedule for future elections.

(End text)

3. (SBU) Comment: On February 19, a United Nations, African Union,
and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation
visited Niger for consultations with the CSRD(Septel). Some
believe that the CSRD's assuming of full legislative and executive
powers may have resulted from pressure to establish a participative
and inclusive democratic process order as quickly as possible. End
Comment.
WHITAKER

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