The Niger president's dismissal of parliament and plans for a referendum to allow him a third term have sparked deep concern, with the opposition calling it a coup bid in the uranium-producing nation. Mamadou Tandja, a former colonel elected president in 1999 following a military coup, on Friday announced he would go ahead with plans for a referendum on a new constitution. If approved, it would allow him to stay in power after his second five-year term expires on December 22. His announcement came after the Constitutional Court, the nation's highest, said Monday it was opposed to the holding of the referendum.