Niger holds constitutional referendum to extend presidential term limits Jaclyn Belczyk at 2:26 PM ET
[JURIST] Niger held a referendum Tuesday on a proposed constitution that would allow President Mamadou Tandja [BBC profile] to remain in office. Tandja had previously promised to step down when his second five-year term expires in December, but if the new constitution is approved, he will be allowed to remain in office for three more years [AFP report] and could then run for re-election as many times as he wants. The new constitution, which was drafted by a five-member panel appointed by Tandja, would also give the president the power to appoint one-third of the members [CBC report] of a new 60-member senate. Opposition leaders have been extremely critical of the proposed constitution and called for a boycott [AP report] of the referendum.
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