- Niger's president Mamadou Tandja has vowed not to refrain from holding a referendum in August despite the mounting international pressure on his government.
President Tandja is pushing for a referendum of 4 August which will decide on whether he can serve for the third term in government.
The European Commission has decided to block aid payments to the West African state, also threatening to break off the rest of its aid to Niger if President Tandja continues with his plans to hold a referendum.
In his public address, President Tandja said he did not come to power to serve international opinion, vowing not to let any international pressure to divert his plans of achieving a useful goal for the people of Niger.
The West African bloc, ECOWAS has threatened Niger with sanctions or suspension if Mr Tandja goes ahead with the referendum.
President Tandja dissolved parliament just a day after the Constitutional Court rejected a call for a referendum on 25 May to allow him to seek a third term in government.
Under the current law, President Tandja is barred from staying in office beyond December 22, when his second elected five-year term expires.
According to the constitution, a new parliament will now have to be elected within three months, but there was no immediate presidential announcement on a new election date.
The 70 years old leader was first elected in 1999 and re-elected in 2004.
A referendum aimed at changing the Constitution so he can run again is planned for 4 August.
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