Constitution of Niger

Last updated

The Republic of Niger has had seven constitutions, two substantial constitutional revisions, and two periods of rule by decree since its independence from French colonial rule in 1960. The current "Seventh Republic" operates under the Constitution of 2010.


Constitution of 25 February 1959

The Constituent Assembly of Niger, a body created from the Territorial Assembly of Niger elected in December 1958, ratified the Constitution of 1959 by a vote of 44 to 8. The Constitution provided for a parliamentary system with limited internal self-government within the French Community. The former Governor of Niger, Don-Jean Colombani, remained the head of state, now titled High Commissioner of Niger. Powers including defense, foreign affairs, and currency were retained by France. On 12 March 1959 the Constituent Assembly became the Legislative Assembly of Niger, with the head of government, Hamani Diori, retaining the title of President of the Council. Executive powers were vested in the Assembly. The new Assembly was to have 60 deputies elected for 5-year terms. The constitution established elements, such as the Flag of Niger, the National anthem of Niger and the Coat of Arms of Niger, along with language on naming of political bodies, rights and powers which have been retained in subsequent texts. [1]

Constitution of 8 November 1960 (First Republic)

The Constitution of 8 November 1960 marks the first fully independent constitutional system of the Republic of Niger: the Nigerien First Republic. With a constitutional revision in 1965, the system remained in place until the 1974 Nigerien coup d'état.[ citation needed ]

Constitutional revision of 7 September 1965

1974 Military Rule

Following the 1974 Nigerien coup d'état, a military council governed the nation without recourse to a Constitution until 1989, or a defined civilian element until 1982. The leader of the 1974 coup, General Seyni Kountché ruled as head of state and President of the Supreme Military Council (CSM), an advisory body which after 1982, contained elements of a Council of Ministers, with an appointed Prime Minister, holding limited powers. A consultative National Council for Development (CND) replaced the National Assembly. Political parties were illegal. Following the General's death on 10 November 1987, General Ali Saïbou became President of the CSM. and began a series of reforms which led to the Second Republic.[ citation needed ]

Constitution of September 1989 (Second Republic)

The Constitution of September 1989 established a single political party and a consultative assembly in place of a National Assembly.[ citation needed ]

Constitution of December 1992 (Third Republic)

The constitution of December 1992 was created over more than a year, following the formation of the civilian National Conference to supersede semi-Military rule. [2] [3] [4] Ratified on 26 December 1992, approved by referendum and enacted 22 January 1993, the Constitution created a dual executive system. The President, as Head of State, was popularly elected to a five-year term, limited to two terms, and named the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister, as Head of Government, was chosen by an 83-person National Assembly, elected by proportional representation. Consequently, by 1994 Niger faced a President who was a political rival of his own Prime Minister. The National Conference also inserted strong constitutional provisions guarding Human Rights, a commission meant to guard freedom of the press, and explicitly tasked the Supreme Court with protecting these rights. [1]

Constitution of May 1996 (Fourth Republic)

The constitution of December 1992 was suspended by a military coup led by Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara in January 1996. The Constitution of 12 May 1996 was approved by referendum as the Fourth Republic. Following an election disputed nationally and internationally, Maïnassara declared himself winner in the first round of presidential elections. The 1996 constitution was marked by a very strong executive and the ability to rule by decree. When less than three years later Maïnassara was himself killed in the coup of 9 April 1999, the military reappointed Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki as prime minister for a transition government and a transitional cabinet consisting of 20 members, most of whom were civilian to create a new constitution. Coup leader and head of the National Reconciliation Council (CRN) Major Daouda Malam Wanké quickly announced its intention to promulgate a new constitution and institute a return to civilian rule. The interim government also replaced 7 of Niger's regional military leaders. Wanké announced that he would not run for the presidency and disqualified all military and security personnel, as well as all members of the transitional government from standing for election. Wanké named a 60-member independent national election commission to oversee the establishment of the election roles and the polling. The CRN renounced any form of remuneration during the transition period and moved to reduce by half the salaries of future members of government.

A new constitution designed to spread power among the president, prime minister, and legislature was approved by referendum despite an extremely low voter turnout in July 1999.

Constitution of 18 July 1999 (Fifth Republic)

Niger's 1999 constitution restores the semi-presidential system of government of the December 1992 constitution (Third Republic) in which the President of the Republic is elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term, and a prime minister, named by the president, share executive power. As a reflection of Niger's increasing population, the unicameral National Assembly was expanded in 2004 to 113 deputies elected for a 5-year term under a majority system of representation. Political parties must attain at least 5% of the vote in order to gain a seat in the legislature. [5]

Constitution of 18 August 2009 (Sixth Republic)

In 2009, President Mamadou Tandja organised a constitutional referendum. It offered a Sixth Republic, with a fully presidential system, the suspension of the 1999 Constitution and a 3 years interim government with Tandja for president. It was declared illegal by the Constitutional Court but Tandja dissolved the Court and assumed emergency powers. The opposition boycotted the referendum and the new constitution was adopted with 92.5% of voters and a 68% turnout, according to official results.

Constitution of 2010 (Seventh Republic)

President Mamadou Tandja was ousted on 18 February 2010 by a military coup d'état. The junta, called "Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy" and led by Salou Djibo, organised the transition. On 31 October 2010, a new constitution was adopted by referendum with 90.19% in favor and a 52.02% turnout (official results of 25 November). [6]

Related Research Articles

History of Niger Chronicle of the Nigerian past

This is the history of the Niger. See also the history of Africa and the history of West Africa.

Politics of Niger

Politics of Niger takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Niger is head of state and the Prime Minister of Niger head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly.

Mamadou Tandja Nigerien politician

Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Mamadou Tandja was a Nigerien politician who was President of Niger from 1999 to 2010. He was President of the National Movement for the Development Society (MNSD) from 1991 to 1999 and unsuccessfully ran as the MNSD's presidential candidate in 1993 and 1996 before being elected to his first term in 1999. While serving as President of Niger, he was also Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States from 2005 to 2007.

Mahamane Ousmane 20th and 21st-century Nigerien President and politician

Mahamane Ousmane is a Nigerien politician. He was the first democratically elected and fourth President of Niger, serving from 16 April 1993 until he was deposed in a military coup d'état on 27 January 1996. He has continued to run for president in each election since his ousting, and he was president of the National Assembly from December 1999 to May 2009. Since April 2020, he is the president of the Democratic and Republican Renewal, a major political party that is currently in opposition. RDR Tchanji formed an alliance with Ousmane's other political vehicle, MNRD Hankuri, on 16 December 2018.

Daouda Malam Wanké

Daouda Malam Wanké was a military and political leader in Niger. He was a member of Hausa ethnic group.

Elections in Niger Political elections for public offices in Niger

Elections in Niger take place within the framework of a semi-presidential system. The President and National Assembly are elected by the public, with elections organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

Mahamadou Issoufou Former President of Niger (2011-2021)

Mahamadou Issoufou is a Nigerien politician who served as the President of Niger from 7 April 2011 to 2 April 2021. Issoufou was the prime minister of Niger from 1993 to 1994, president of the National Assembly from 1995 to 1996, and he was a candidate in each presidential election from 1993 to 2016. He led the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS-Tarayya), a social democratic party, from its foundation in 1990 until his election as president in 2011. During the Presidency of Mamadou Tandja (1999–2010), Issoufou was the main opposition leader.

National Movement for the Development of Society Political party in Niger

The National Movement for the Development of Society is a political party in Niger. Founded under the military government of the 1974–1990 period, it was the ruling party of Niger from 1989 to 1993 and again from 1999 until 2010, when a coup on February 18, 2010, by a military junta called the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD) ousted the president, Mamadou Tandja.

Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism Political party in Niger

The Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism is a political party in Niger. It is a broadly left-leaning party, part of the Socialist International, and since 2011 it has been in power following the election of its long-time leader, Mahamadou Issoufou, as President. Mohamed Bazoum is President of the PNDS, and its Secretary-General is Foumakoye Gado.

National Assembly (Niger)

The unicameral National Assembly is Niger's legislative body. The National Assembly may propose laws and is required to approve all legislation.

Hamid Algabid is a Nigerien politician and the President of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP-Jama'a) party. A lawyer, banker, and technocrat, Algabid was an important figure in the regime of Seyni Kountché, serving as Prime Minister of Niger from 1983 to 1988. He was Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) from 1989 to 1996, and since 1997 he has been President of the RDP-Jama'a. He was also President of the High Council of Territorial Collectivities (HCCT) until 2010.

Mohamed Bazoum President of Niger (2021-present)

Mohamed Bazoum is a Nigerien politician who is the current president of the Republic of Niger. He has been in office since 2 April 2021.

Moumouni Adamou Djermakoye was a Nigerien politician and the President of the Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Progress. He was an important minister during the regime of Seyni Kountché and subsequently served as Niger's Ambassador to the United States from 1988 to 1991; later, after founding the ANDP, he served as President of the National Assembly of Niger from 1993 to 1994. He was the ANDP's candidate in four presidential elections, beginning in 1993; he was also a deputy in the National Assembly from 1999 to 2009 and the President of the High Court of Justice from 2005 to 2009.

1999 Nigerien general election

General elections were held in Niger in 1999; the first-round of the presidential elections was held on 17 October, with a run-off held alongside National Assembly elections on 24 November. The elections followed a coup d'état on 9 April, in which Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara, who had led an earlier coup in January 1996 and won disputed presidential elections, was assassinated. Coup leader Daouda Mallam Wanké initiated a transitional period that concluded with the victory of Mamadou Tandja, the candidate of the National Movement for the Development of Society (MNSD), over Mahamadou Issoufou, the candidate of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS), in the run-off. The vote for the first National Assembly of the Fifth Republic, which had originally been scheduled for October, but delayed in August, also saw a victory for the MNSD, which won 38 of the 83 seats. It formed a coalition with the Democratic and Social Convention in order to gain a majority in the Assembly.

André Salifou is a Nigerien politician, diplomat, and professor. He was President of the High Council of the Republic during the 1991–93 transitional period, briefly served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1996, and was an unsuccessful presidential candidate in 1999.

2009–2010 Nigerien constitutional crisis Political conflict leading to a coup détat

The 2009–2010 Nigerien constitutional crisis occurred in Niger due to a political conflict between President Mamadou Tandja and judicial and legislative bodies regarding the Constitutional referendum that opponents claimed was an attempt to extend his mandate beyond the constitutional maximum. It was held on 4 August 2009 before a parliamentary election which was mandated to take place by 26 August 2009. The crisis eventually led to a coup d'état by military leaders who overthrew President Tandja and formed a ruling junta.

Salifou Fatimata Bazèye, also known as Fatoumata Bazèye and Fatoumata Bazaî, is a Nigerien jurist, former magistrate, head of the Supreme Court of Niger and from 2007 to 2009 President of the Constitutional Court of Niger. Her court's rulings on the constitutional revisions planned by then President of Niger Mamadou Tandja, led to her extra-constitutional dismissal and a heightening of the 2009–2010 Nigerien constitutional crisis. Following the 2010 Nigerien coup d'état, she was named head of the transitional Constitutional Court of Niger.

Amadou Ali Djibo dit Max is a Nigerien politician. He leads the Union of Independent Nigeriens (UNI) and was a minor candidate in the 1999 presidential election. He was a Deputy in the National Assembly of Niger from 2009 to 2010 and again since 2011.

A coup d'état occurred in Niger on 18 February 2010. Soldiers attacked the presidential palace in Niamey under weapons fire at midday and captured President Mamadou Tandja, who was chairing a government meeting at the time. Later in the day, the rebels announced on television the formation of the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD), headed by chef d'escadron Salou Djibo.

The 1999 Nigerien coup d'état occurred on 9 April 1999 and resulted in the death of President Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara and the installation of Daouda Malam Wanké as President on 11 April. Maïnassara was shot under unclear circumstances in an ambush at either Diori Hamani International Airport, potentially while attempting to flee the country, or at a military base, likely by members of the Presidential Guard.


  1. 1 2 Decalo, Samuel (1997). Historical Dictionary of the Niger (3rd ed.). Boston & Folkestone: Scarecrow Press. ISBN   0-8108-3136-8.:pp.49–51, 100, 133–136
  2. Walter S. Clarke, “The National Conference Phenomenon and the Management of Political Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa,” in Ethnic Conflict and Democratization in Africa, ed. Harvey Glickman. Atlanta: African Studies Assoc. Press, (1995) ISBN   0-918456-74-6
  3. Pearl T. Robinson, “The National Conference Phenomenon in Francophone Africa,” Comparative Studies in Society and History Vol. 36, No. 3 (1994)
  4. Myriam Gervais. Niger: Regime Change Economic Crisis and Perpetuation of Privilege. pp. 86-108. Political Reform in Francophone Africa, Ed. John Frank Clark, David E. Gardinier. Westview Press (1997) ISBN   0-8133-2786-5
  5. Constitution du Niger du 18 juillet 1999 Archived 2008-10-02 at the Wayback Machine and CONSTITUTION OF THE FIFTH REPUBLIC OF NIGER. Adopted on 18 July 1999, promulgated on 9 August 1999 Archived 2 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine .
  6. (in French) Results of the 2010 constitutional referendum Archived 2010-11-30 at the Wayback Machine , 25 November 2010, Nigerien Press Agency, website of the Nigerien government.