Politics of Niger

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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.

Contents

Political parties and elections

Fifth Republic

Continuity

Since the creation of the Fifth Republic in 1999, the political rivalries and parties of the Third Republic have maintained their central role in national politics. There continue to be three large parties, and several smaller ones, with no single party gaining a majority in the National Assembly of Niger. In the Third Republic a coalition of the CDS and PNDS was formed with many small parties, in part to keep the former military party of the MNSD out of power. [1] This coalition collapsed in recriminations in 1995, leading to a PNDS and MNSD government facing a CDS President. The bad blood and gridlock which resulted was one of the reasons given for General Maïnassara's 1996 Nigerien coup d'etat. [2]

The same three men who dominated the parties in the Third Republic returned in 1999: Mamadou Tanja for the MNSD-Nassara, Mahamadou Issoufou of the PNDS, and Mahamane Ousmane of CDS-Rahama.

1999 elections

Following another coup in April 1999, in which Maïnassara was killed, the MNSD-Nassara's Tandja won the October 1999 presidential election. [3]

In the October 1999 National Assembly Election, the MNSD won 38 of the 83 seats, forming a government under Hama Amadou with the support of CDS-Rahama's 17 seats. The PNDS led the opposition with 16 seats, but the continued antagonism between Mahamadou Issoufou and Mahamane Ousmane meant that no other coalition was available. ANDP-Zaman Lahiya, a former split for the MNSD held only four seats. [3] In 2002, this coalition was shored up when the ANDP joined the parliamentary majority coalition, the Alliance of Democratic Forces, leaving the opposition Coordination of Democratic Forces. [4] Djermakoye joined the government as a Minister of State in November 2002, serving in that position until December 2004. [5]

2004 elections

While Tandja easily retained the presidency against a second round challenge by Mahamadou Issoufou, the 2004 National Assembly elections were closer. The PNDS formed a coalition to contest the expanded 113 seats of the National Assembly, which also included the UNI (2 seats), the PPN (2), and the PNA-Al'ouma (4). With the PNDS' 17 seats this coalition took 25 seats. The MNSD remained the largest party at 47 seats, be relied again on CDS-Rahama's 22 seats to govern. A minor portfolios in the Council of Ministers were given to two smaller parties as well, the RDP-Jama'a (6 seats) and ANDP-Zaman Lahiya (5 seats). RSD-Gaskiya (7 seats) and PSDN-Alheri (1 seat) remained aloof of both blocs. [6]

2007 PM crisis

In December 2004 Hama Amadou was again chosen as Prime Minister. Mahamane Ousmane, the head of the CDS, was re-elected President of the National Assembly. The new second term government of the Fifth Republic took office on 30 December 2004. In June 2007, a no confidence vote against the government led to the fall of the Prime Minister Hama Amadou and his ministers. Amadou was replaced by Seyni Oumarou, also of the president's MNSD-Nassara party, leading to infighting within a portion of the party still loyal to Amadou. [7] Broad changes were made to the Council of Ministers of Niger, with MNSD-Nassara continuing to take the majority of portfolios, but with the CDS, RDP-Jama'a, and NDP-Zaman Lahiya retaining Ministerial appointments.

Tazarce

In the run up to the 2009 elections (Presidential, Assembly, and Municipal), a movement to draft President Tandja for a third term appeared. Led by public figures of the MNSD outside government, the group took the name of Tandja's 2004 re-election slogan, Tazarce: a Hausa word meaning "Continuity". Through several well funded and well attended public rallies in late 2008, the President remained silent on the calls for him to remain. [8] The 1999 constitution made the serving of more than two term impossible (article 36), and the revision of that article illegal by any means (article 136). The Prime Minister Seyni Oumarou reiterated on 22 January that all scheduled elections would go ahead before the end of 2009. [9] In March, during his meetings with French President Sarkozy, Tandja explicitly stated that he would not seek a third term. [10]

Then, in early May 2009, when questioned by the press on his visit to Agadez to begin peace talks with Tuareg rebels, Tandja announced that "the people have demanded I remain." [11] His spokesman then outlined a plan in which a referendum could be held in mid-2009, not to amend the 1999 constitution, but to scrap it and begin work on a constitution of the Sixth Republic of Niger, which would contain no term limits for the President, and create a fully Presidential republic. [12] [13] [14] [15]

On 15 May 2009, in response to their parties opposition to a proposed referendum to allow the President to seek a third term, the three members of RDP-Jama'a and ANDP-Zaman Lahiya were replaced with ministers drawn from the MNSD-Nassara. With the continued support of the CDS, the MNSD maintained a working majority of 67 seats in the 113 seat National Assembly. [16]

According to the 1999 Constitution of Niger, the President may call a referendum on any matter (except for a revision of those elements of the Constitution outlined in Article 136—including the presidential term limits). The Constitutional Court of Niger and the National Assembly of Niger must advise the president, but there is no provision that the president must heed their advice. On 25 May 2009, the Constitutional Court, made up of appointed judges, released a ruling that any referendum to create a new constitution would be unconstitutional, and further would be a violation of the oath the president had taken on the Koran (a serious matter in this overwhelmingly Muslim country). [17] [18] The week prior, two major parties had come out in their opposition to the referendum proposal as well. On 13 May, the ANDP-Zaman Lahiya, led by former MNSD number two Djermokoye declared its opposition to any change in the constitution. On 15 May the CDS-Rahama, the party without which the MNSD could not have formed governments in 1999, 2004, and 2007, came out opposing the referendum, and calling the constitution unalterable. [19] [20] Neither party moved into the opposition, and both Ousmane and Djermokoye said they were willing to negotiate with the president. [21]

On 26 March, within hours of the Constitutional courts statement, official media read out a statement that President Tandja had dissolved the National Assembly. [22] Under the 1999 Constitution he is allowed to do once every two years, [23] but he must call parliamentary elections with three months. This would mean the government of Niger would carry out scheduled parliamentary elections in September, two months early, and a referendum on a new constitution before Presidential elections which can take place no later than December, assuming the 1999 constitution is in effect.

2010 Coup

On February 19 a group calling itself the Supreme Council for Restoration of Democracy (CSRD) stormed the presidential palace during a meeting and took the president Mamadou Tandja hostage. Colonel Goukoye Abdul Karimou, spokesman for CSRD announced on state television that the country's constitution had been suspended and all state institutions dissolved. It is believed that the president is being held in a garrison in the capital city with his resignation being sought. [24]

Political parties

Constitution

The constitution of December 1992 was revised by national referendum on 12 May 1996 and, again, by referendum, revised to the current version on 18 July 1999. It restored the semi-presidential system of government of the December 1992 constitution (Third Republic) in which the president of the republic, 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.

Executive branch

Main office holders
OfficeNamePartySince
President Mohamed Bazoum Party for Democracy and Socialism 2 April 2021
Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou Party for Democracy and Socialism 3 April 2021

Niger's new 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.

Legislative branch

The National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) has 113 members, elected for a five-year term, 105 members elected in multi-seat constituencies and 8 members elected in single-seat national minority constituencies. Political parties must attain at least 5% of the vote in order to gain a seat in the legislature.

Related Research Articles

Hama Amadou Nigerien politician

Hama Amadou is a Nigerien politician who was Prime Minister of Niger from 1995 to 1996 and again from 2000 to 2007. He was also Secretary-General of the National Movement for the Development of Society (MNSD-Nassara) from 1991 to 2001 and President of the MNSD-Nassara from 2001 to 2009. Amadou is from the Kurtey, a Fula sub-group, and was raised in the Tillaberi Region, in the Niger River valley, north of Niamey.

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.

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.

Democratic and Social Convention Political party in Niger

The Democratic and Social Convention - Rahama is a political party in Niger.

Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Progress Political party in Niger

The Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Progress is a political party in Niger. Moumouni Adamou Djermakoye led the party from its foundation in 1992 until his death in 2009.

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.

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.

Seyni Oumarou

Seyni Oumarou is a Nigerien politician who was Prime Minister of Niger from June 2007 to September 2009 and President of the National Assembly of Niger from November 2009 to February 2010. He is from the west of the country and is a member of the Djerma ethnic group. Since November 2008, he has been the President of the National Movement for the Development of Society (MNSD). He unsuccessfully stood as a presidential candidate in 2011, 2016 and 2021. After years as an opposition leader under President Mahamadou Issoufou, he was appointed to the post of High Representative of the President in October 2016.

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.

Alliance of the Forces of Change

The Alliance of the Forces of Change was one of the two large political coalitions which contested for power in Niger from 1991 to 1996.

Cabinet of Niger

The Cabinet of Niger is made up of the appointed heads of Niger's government Ministries. Ministers are chosen from the elected members of the National Assembly of Niger. According to the Constitution of 18 July 1999 the Prime Minister of Niger proposes the membership of the Council of Ministers, and the President of Niger appoints the Ministers, which is then authorized by the National Assembly. The Council of ministers meets at the discretion of the President, advises him on policy, and carries out the policies he orders. The Council of Ministers is headed by the Prime Minister of Niger, who is put forward by the National Assembly, and accepted by the President. The Assembly may remove the Prime minister by a vote of no confidence.

1995 Nigerien parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Niger on 12 January 1995. The last elections of the Third Republic, they were called following a split in the ruling coalition, but resulted in a government divided between the party of the President and an opposition coalition with a majority in the National Assembly and the post of Prime Minister. The ensuing stalemate was a contributing factor to the coup that overthrew the regime on 27 January 1996.

2009–2010 Nigerien constitutional crisis

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.

2011 Nigerien general election Election in Niger

General elections were held in Niger on 31 January 2011 to elect the President and National Assembly, with a second round of the presidential elections on 12 March. The first round of the presidential elections was originally scheduled to be held on 3 January and the second round on 31 January, but was later postponed. The elections followed a military coup in February 2010 that ousted President Mamadou Tandja.

References

  1. Jibrin Ibrahim and Abdoulayi Niandou Souley, "The rise to power of an opposition party: the MNSD in Niger Republic", Unisa Press, Politeia, Vol. 15, No. 3, 1996.
  2. Myriam Gervais, "Niger: Regime Change, Economic Crisis, and Perpetuation of Privilege", in Political Reform in Francophone Africa (1997), ed. John F. Clark and David E. Gardinier, pages 100101.
  3. 1 2 "RAPPORT DE LA MISSION D’OBSERVATION DES ELECTIONS PRESIDENTIELLES ET LEGISLATIVES DES 17 OCTOBRE ET 24 NOVEMBRE 1999" Archived 18 October 2005 at the Wayback Machine , democratie.francophonie.org (in French).
  4. "L’ANDP de Djermakoye rallie la mouvance présidentielle" Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine , Afrique Express, No. 253, 30 July 2002 (in French).
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  6. Parliamentary groups in the National Assembly, National Assembly web site (2001 archive page) (in French).
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  8. Le Président Tandja reste muet sur les appels en faveur d’une prolongation de son mandat. APA 19 December 2008
  9. Niger Plans Election by December, Prime Minister Says. Abdoulaye Ibbo Daddy, Bloomberg news. 22 January 2009.
  10. Niger : « Je suis prêt à partir à la fin de mon mandat », affirme le Président nigérien. APA 28 Mars 2009 11:34
    « je ne cherche pas un autre mandat. Donc je suis très clair là-dessus, je n’ai demandé à aucun nigérien si on peut faire ceci ou cela. Jamais, et je n’ai jamais demandé quoi que ce soit pour changer la constitution nigérienne ou à y chercher des modifications »
  11. Le président de la République Mamadou Tandja: «Le peuple demande que je reste, je ne peux pas rester insensible à son appel.». LE TEMOIN 04 - 8 May 2009.
  12. Chronogramme Tazartché: Bonus de 3 ans pour Tandja, Elections locales et législatives en 2009, Elections présidentielles (auxquelles Tandja pouvait participer) en 2012. LE TEMOIN du 11 au 15 mai 2009
  13. ANNONCE DU RÉFÉRENDUM Le planning du Tazartché Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine . Oumarou Keïta. Republicain-Niger. 15 May 2009.
  14. RÉFÉRENDUM CONSTITUTIONNEL Une présidence à vie s'annonce ! Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Oumarou Keïta. Republicain-Niger. 15 May 2009.
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  16. Remaniement gouvernemental au Niger, nouveau ministre de la Justice. AFP 15 May 2009
  17. Niger court says third-term referendum unlawful. Reuters. 26 May 2009
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  24. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2010/02/201021812457200576.html.