Niger junta names interim leader

2010-02-23 08:28
Niamey - The leader of a junta that toppled Niger's President Mamadou Tandja last week is now the west African nation's transitional head of state and government, a military decree said on Monday.

A decree read out on state radio said the functions of the acting head of state and government will be performed during the transition period in Niger by the president of the Supreme Council for Restoration of Democracy (CSRD), Major Salou Djibo.

The CRSD, "the highest authority designing and directing national policy, is headed by a president who exercises the functions of the head of state and government," it said.

The new power structure is effective during the transition period, whose duration was not specified.

Niger's middle-ranking military officers stormed the presidential palace during a cabinet meeting on Thursday to capture Tandja and his ministers.

Shortly after they sacked the government and suspended the constitution that Tandja had pushed through to extend his grip on power beyond a 10-year-limit.

A task force will be created under Djibo's authority to draft a new constitution and electoral laws. The draft constitution will then be taken to a referendum before it is adopted, the order said.

A so-called "constitutional committee" and a court will be set up to replace the constitutional court and the Supreme Court, all dissolved after the February 18 coup.

The interim president shall have powers to appoint or sack by decree, a prime minister and cabinet members.

He would chair the cabinet meetings, sign orders and decrees appointing military and civilian positions.

Read more on:    niger coup  |  west africa
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