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New law grants president absolute control over media regulatory body

(MFWA/IFEX) - On August 28, 2009, President Mamadou Tandja signed into law a bill granting him absolute control over the Supreme Council for Communications (CSC), the country's media regulatory body.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent reported that Article 130 of the new Constitution that was recently adopted under a controversial referendum in early August has reduced the previous 11 members to seven. It also gives the president the power to appoint four members, including the CSC's president.

The correspondent said that even before the law came into effect President Tandja had already appointed four of his known supporters to the commission, including Daouda Diallo, whom he had previously used to ban the media in Niger.

Two of the commissioners who would be representatives from the National Assembly and the Senate were yet to be appointed as there are currently no National Assembly and Senate in the country. The minister of communications is to nominate the last member.

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