Amadou Cheiffou

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Amadou Cheiffou (born 1 December 1942[1]) is a Nigerien politician who was Prime Minister of Niger from 26 October 1991 to 17 April 1993, heading a transitional government. He has led the Social Democratic Rally (RSD-Gaskiya), a political party, since founding it in January 2004. Cheiffou was President of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of Niger (CESOC) from January 2006 to February 2010, and he has been Ombudsman since August 2011.

Political career[edit]

Cheiffou is an ethnic Fula[2][3] and was born at Kornaka, in Maradi Department, in 1942.[1] Prior to becoming Prime Minister, Cheiffou worked in Dakar as a representative of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for Central and West Africa. He was a delegate for the Association of Nigeriens Abroad at the 1991 National Conference; at the Conference, he was the compromise choice for the position of Prime Minister, although he was opposed by the delegates representing the government,[2] and was elected on 26 October 1991.[4][5] His selection as Prime Minister was aided by his political inexperience and lack of association with the old regime of Seyni Kountché and Ali Saibou. Cheiffou headed the transitional government that served from 1991 to 1993, during the transitional period leading to multiparty elections.[2] He also served as Minister of National Defense during that period.[6] Along with President Saibou and André Salifou, the President of the High Council of the Republic, he was prohibited by the National Conference from standing as a candidate in the February 1993 presidential election.[7]

As of 2002, Cheiffou was the ICAO's Regional Director for its Western and Central African Office.[8]

Cheiffou was Vice-President of the Democratic and Social Convention (CDS-Rahama) before splitting with that party and its President, Mahamane Ousmane, and creating his own party, the Social Democratic Rally (RSD-Gaskiya), in January 2004.[9] In the presidential election held on 16 November 2004, Cheiffou placed fourth out of six candidates, winning 6.35% of the vote.[10] He was elected to the National Assembly in the December 2004 parliamentary election as an RSD candidate in Maradi constituency.[11]

When the 85-member Economic, Social and Cultural Council (CESOC) was installed by President Mamadou Tandja on 3 January 2006, Cheiffou became President of CESOC.[12]

The RSD supported President Tandja during the 2009 political crisis, and it participated in the October 2009 parliamentary election. The opposition, angered by President Tandja's efforts to change the constitution so that he could remain in power, boycotted the election. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which had wanted the election delayed in hopes of resolving the political crisis, suspended Niger from its ranks immediately after the election was held. Cheiffou was included in the 22-member Nigerien delegation that traveled to Abuja for talks with ECOWAS beginning on 9 November 2009.[13]

Still serving as President of CESOC, Cheiffou stood as a candidate in the December 2009 local elections and was elected as a municipal councillor in Kornaka. Cheiffou's decision to run for local office was considered striking, as it was rare for major political leaders in Niger to do so.[14]

Tandja was ousted in a February 2010 military coup. In the January 2011 presidential election, held under a transitional junta, Cheiffou stood again as a candidate, but received only a small share of the vote. On 10 February 2011, he announced his support for Mahamadou Issoufou, who had placed first, in the March 2011 second round. He backed Issoufou along with many other unsuccessful candidates, buttressing Issoufou's position against his second round opponent, Seyni Oumarou.[15] After Issoufou won the election, Cheiffou was appointed as Ombudsman on 24 August 2011.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cherif Ouazani, "Six candidats pour un fauteuil", Jeune Afrique, November 7, 2004 (French).
  2. ^ a b c 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 96 and 107 (note 23).
  3. ^ In French: Peul or Peulh; in Fula: Pullo
  4. ^ Marie-Soleil Frère, Presse et démocratie en Afrique francophone, Karthala Editions, page 117 (French).
  5. ^ "Oct 1991 - Niger: Elections", Keesing's Record of World Events, volume 37, October 1991, Niger, page 38,520.
  6. ^ "Gouvernements de la transition de Cheffou Amadou" at the Wayback Machine (archived June 11, 2009), Nigerien presidency website (2009 archive page) (French).
  7. ^ "Niger's 1st Democratic Vote Beset by Revolt and Famine", The New York Times, 14 February 1993, section 1, page 22.
  8. ^ "First Meeting of the AFI Air Traffic Services Providers", ICAO website, 26–28 November 2002.
  9. ^ "Cassure au sein du parti de Mahamane Ousmane, Amadou Cheiffou crée son propre parti", Afrique Express, N° 286, 20 January 2004 (French).
  10. ^ "Tandja, Issoufou for round two polling in Niger", AngolaPress, 20 November 2004.
  11. ^ List of deputies elected in the 2004 election by constituency at the Wayback Machine (archived February 13, 2005), National Assembly website (French).
  12. ^ "Le CESOC s’ouvre au public", Le Republicain, 6 April 2006 (French).
  13. ^ "Crisis talks on Niger start in Abuja", AFP, 9 November 2009.
  14. ^ "Cheiffou Amadou élu conseiller municipal", Roue de l'Histoire, Issue 488, 31 December 2009 (French).
  15. ^ "Niger's Issoufou expands alliance ahead of run-off", Reuters, 11 February 2011.
  16. ^ "Le communiqué du Conseil des ministres", Le Sahel, 25 August 2011 (French).
Preceded by
Aliou Mahamidou
Prime Minister of Niger
1991–1993
Succeeded by
Mahamadou Issoufou