2016 Nigerien general election

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2016 Nigerien general election
Flag of Niger.svg
  2011 21 February 2016 (first round)
20 March 2016 (second round)
2020–21  
  Mahamadou Issoufou-IMG 3648.jpg Hama Amadou.jpg
Nominee Mahamadou Issoufou Hama Amadou
Party PNDS MODEN/FA
Popular vote4,105,499333,143
Percentage92.49%7.51%

Niger Round 2 2016 Presidential Election Results Map.png
Second round results by province

President before election

Mahamadou Issoufou
PNDS

Elected President

Mahamadou Issoufou
PNDS

General elections were held in Niger on 21 February 2016, [1] with a presidential run-off held on 20 March. [2] A total of 15 candidates ran for the presidency, with incumbent President Mahamadou Issoufou running for re-election for a second term. [3] There were two main opposition candidates also vying for the top post, Seyni Oumarou of the MNSD, who lost to Issoufou in 2011, and Hama Amadou of MODEN/FA, who has been campaigning from prison since November 2015. [4] Most of the opposition agreed to align for the second round to back the second-placed candidate against Issoufou. [5]

Contents

Niger faced a string of attacks by various insurgents, most notably Boko Haram in the preceding months, and security and poverty alleviation were central to most candidates' campaigns. [5] Various observers predicted minor violence from the opposition who accused the president of rigging the elections.

Issoufou placed first in the first round, but fell just short of an outright majority, necessitating a second round vote in which he faced Hama Amadou. The opposition boycotted the second round, and Issoufou was re-elected with an overwhelming majority (92.49%).

Electoral system

The President of Niger was elected using the two-round system. [6]

The 171 members of the National Assembly were elected by two methods; 158 members were elected from eight multi-member constituencies based on the seven regions and Niamey by party-list proportional representation. Additionally, eight seats are reserved for national minorities and five seats (one per continent) for Nigeriens living abroad, all elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting. [7]

Presidential candidates

On 9 January 2016, it was announced that the Constitutional Court had cleared 15 candidates to run. All of the major candidates were approved, including Hama Amadou, who was still in jail over charges that he alleged were politically motivated, and Abdou Labo, who was not imprisoned but was also facing charges related to the baby-trafficking investigation. One minor candidate, Abdoul-Karim Bakasso, was barred from running on the grounds that he had not submitted a medical certificate. [14]

An appeals court refused Amadou's request to be released on 11 January. [15] Speaking through his lawyer, Amadou said afterward that he was a political prisoner and would not pursue any further appeal. [16]

Results

President

Provisional results released on 26 February 2016 showed President Issoufou with about 48% of the vote, falling just short of a first round majority. Imprisoned opposition leader Hama Amadou placed second with 17.8% of the vote. With no candidate winning an outright majority, a second round was planned to be held on 20 March 2016. Although Amadou received a much smaller percentage of the first round vote, most of the other major opposition candidates were expected to support him in the second round. [17]

Speaking on behalf of COPA 2016, the opposition coalition supporting Amadou, Seyni Oumarou (who placed third and backed Amadou for the second round), announced on 8 March that the coalition was boycotting the vote and withdrawing its representatives from the electoral commission. Hassoumi Massaoudou, the Minister of the Interior, said in response that the second round vote would be held regardless of whether the opposition participated. Noting that some of the first round candidates had backed Issoufou, Massaoudou argued that the opposition "withdrew to avoid being beaten". [18] Nevertheless, Amadou's lawyer said on 11 March that he would still be a candidate. [19]

Subsequent events were dominated by Amadou's health problems. After a medical crisis in which he was said to have briefly lost consciousness, he was moved from the prison in Filingue to Niamey; he was then taken to Paris for treatment on 16 March. [20] COPA again called for a boycott on 18 March. [21]

The second round was held on 20 March 2016 amidst an opposition boycott. Given the boycott, results announced on 22 March showed an unsurprisingly large victory for President Issoufou, who was credited with 92.5% of the vote. Turnout was placed at 60%. Meanwhile, on 22 March COPA denounced the election as fraudulent and rejected the results, saying that Niger would "have no legitimate president" after Issoufou's first term ended. [22]

CandidatePartyFirst roundSecond round
Votes%Votes%
Mahamadou Issoufou Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism 2,252,01648.434,102,36392.51
Hama Amadou Nigerien Democratic Movement for an African Federation 824,50017.73332,2927.49
Seyni Oumarou National Movement for the Development of Society 563,61312.12
Mahamane Ousmane Nigerien Movement for Democratic Renewal 290,6886.25
Ibrahim Yacouba Nigerien Patriotic Movement 201,9824.34
Kassoum Moctar Congress for the Republic 135,1762.91
Abdou Labo Democratic and Social Convention 97,3822.09
Amadou Cheiffou Social Democratic Rally 82,9651.78
Amadou Cissé Union for Democracy and the Republic 69,1151.49
Laouan Magagi Alliance for Democratic Renewal 44,6850.96
Adal RhoubeidDemocratic Movement for Renewal27,3500.59
Abdoulaye Amadou TraoréParty of Progress for a United Niger18,6810.40
Tahirou GuimbaDemocratic Movement for Development and the Defence of Liberties18,3350.39
Mahaman Jean Philipe PadonouConvergence for Democracy and Progress16,5080.35
Mahaman Hamissou MamanJustice and Development Party7,2110.16
Total4,650,207100.004,434,655100.00
Valid votes4,650,20791.804,434,65597.80
Invalid/blank votes415,2498.2099,7612.20
Total votes5,065,456100.004,534,416100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,580,59866.827,581,54059.81
Source: Constitutional Court Constitutional Court

National Assembly

In the parliamentary election, parties supporting Issoufou won a majority, with 118 out of 171 seats in the National Assembly. [23] [24]

PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism 1,703,32135.7275+41
Nigerien Democratic Movement for an African Federation 615,39312.9125+2
National Movement for the Development of Society 488,50210.2420–5
Patriotic Movement for the Republic 343,1507.2013New
MNRDPSDN 198,1644.166+6
Nigerien Patriotic Movement 152,2523.195New
Alliance of Movements for the Emergence of Niger 142,9343.003New
Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Progress 141,0312.964–4
Social Democratic Rally 138,0652.904+4
Congress for the Republic 122,5732.573New
Democratic and Social Convention 114,4032.4030
Rally for Democracy and Progress 113,1412.373–4
Union for Democracy and the Republic 105,4482.212–4
Democratic Alliance for Niger 75,3721.581New
Alliance for Democratic Renewal 69,9711.472+2
Social Democratic Party 43,2850.912New
Party for National Unity and Development 24,9580.520New
Nigerien Progressive Party – African Democratic Rally 23,0480.4800
Nigerien Self-Management Party 22,4260.4700
Convergence for Democracy and Progress17,1290.360New
People's Democratic Party16,7100.3500
New Generation for Niger16,2390.340New
Union of Independent Nigeriens 13,3650.280–1
Movement for Democracy and Reform12,9760.270New
Socio-Revolutionary Movement for Democracy11,3020.240New
Movement for Unity and Recovery of the Nation8,7950.180New
IPP/RAYUWA8,3590.180New
Democratic Movement for Renewal6,5350.140New
Union of Socialist Nigeriens5,1530.1100
National Movement for Reform and Social Progress4,9880.100New
Union for Democracy and Social Progress 4,2620.090New
Party of Consultation and Peace2,4050.050New
Socialist Party2,3770.050New
Rally of Nigerien Democrats for Reform3640.0100
Nigerien Convention for the Republic750.0000
GIE Bunkasa180.000New
Democratic and Renewal Congress130.000New
Independents1130.0000
Total4,768,615100.00171+58
Valid votes4,768,61594.81
Invalid/blank votes261,0715.19
Total votes5,029,686100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,574,95866.40
Source: Constitutional Court

Reactions

Domestic

Opposition parties rejected the partial election results released by the electoral commission, claiming discrepancies between the declared results and their own tallies. [25] Amadou Cissé, the Union for Democracy and the Republic candidate, challenged the results and accused the government for creating "thousands of polling stations" to skew the outcome. [26]

International

Aftermath

When the National Assembly began meeting for its new term on 24 March 2016, the opposition deputies boycotted it. [23] [24] Ousseini Tinni, a PNDS Deputy, was elected as President of the National Assembly on 25 March 2016. [28] With the opposition absent, Tinni received 109 votes in favor and six against, with three abstentions. [29]

The Niamey Court of Appeal issued an order for the "provisional release" of Amadou on 29 March 2016, although by that point he had already been out of the country for nearly two weeks. [30]

On 30 March 2016, the Constitutional Court validated the results and formally declared that Issoufou was re-elected for a second term. Final results showed Issoufou with 92.51% and Amadou with 7.49%, while turnout was placed at 59.80%. [31] On 2 April 2016, Issoufou was sworn in and reappointed Brigi Rafini as Prime Minister. [32]

The composition of the new government was announced on 11 April. Although Issoufou had previously called for the opposition to join a national unity government, ultimately no one from the opposition was included in the government, which continued to be dominated by members of the PNDS. Three minor presidential candidates who had backed Issoufou for the second round were appointed to the government: Ibrahim Yacoubou as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moctar Kassoum as Minister of Lands and Urban Development, and Magagi Laouan as Minister of Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management. [33]

The opposition deputies eventually took their seats in the National Assembly. In late April they formed two parliamentary groups and put forward candidates for the posts in the Bureau of the National Assembly which had been reserved for the opposition and therefore left vacant, enabling those posts (Second Vice-President, Third Vice-President, Quaestor, and two Parliamentary Secretaries) to be filled. [34]

Related Research Articles

Politics of Niger

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