LOME, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Nigeriens are calling for a three-year extension of presidential and parliamentary mandates to facilitate the country's smooth development, according to information reaching here on Monday from Niamey, the capital of Niger.
A mass rally was organized in front of the parliament building on Sunday with a call for the extension of President Mamadou Tandja's mandate from Dec. 22, 2009 to Dec. 22, 2012.
Participants including Prime Minister Seyni Oumarou also proposed a simultaneous extension of mandates of the National Assembly (parliament), the Economic, Social and Cultural Council and the High Council for Collectivization.
The rally came one year ahead of the expiry of the presidential mandate, the second and last one under the Constitution for Tandja who was reelected in 2004.
The rally participants demanded that the head of state accept the proposal and that the National Assembly examine the issue, citing the need for what they said the "transition" to facilitate the smooth development of the land-locked central African country.
Supporters of the 69-year-old president staged similar rallies and marches elsewhere in the country in search for his third mandate.
They also urged lawmakers to draft a new constitution in replacement of the one under which the five-year presidential mandate could be renewed only once.