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He may deny it but President Mamadou Tandja began the process of changing the constitution to prolong his mandate in December 2008

After decades of coups and assassinations, Nigeriens had hoped that President Mamadou Tandja would stabilise the country and peacefully hand over to his successor. Instead, he decided to change the constitution. President Tandja had been due to step down on 22 December after two five-year terms but, after signing a peace deal with Tuareg-led militia groups in the north and a production deal with France's giant Areva uranium company in May, he seems to have secured the discreet backing of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to extend his presidency for another term.

(This article contains approximately 918 words)

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Keywords:

Mamadou Tandja, France, Nicolas Sarkozy, Boubacar Mazou, Mahamadou Aboubakar, Dan Dubaï', Nigeria, Umaru Yar'Adua, Djida Hamadou, Libya, Moammar el Gadaffi, Moussa Kaka, Mahamadou Issoufou, Mahamane Ousmane, Military throwbacks, Ibrahim Baré, Mainassara, Moumouni Boureima, Tchanga, Maï Manga Oumara, Seyni Garba, Seïni Oumarou, Albadé Abouba, grands projets, Tazarché, Convention Démocratique et Sociale-Rahama, Radio France Internationale, Parti Nigérien pour la Démocratie et le Socialisme, Front de Défense de la Démocratie, pays mort, Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante, Forces Nationales d'Intervention et de Sécurité, Conseil de Salut National, Conseil de Réconciliation Nationale, Forces Armées du Niger