2016 Nigerien general election

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Nigerien general election, 2016

← 2011 21 February 2016 (first round)
20 March 2016 (second round)
  Mahamadou Issoufou-IMG 3648.jpg No image.png
Nominee Mahamadou Issoufou Hama Amadou
Party PNDS MODEN/FA
Popular vote 4,105,499 333,143
Percentage 92.49% 7.51%

Niger Round 2 2016 Presidential Election Results Map.png
Presidential election results map. Pink denotes provinces won by Issoufou, and Blue denotes those won by Amadou.

President before election

Mahamadou Issoufou
PNDS

Elected President

Mahamadou Issoufou
PNDS

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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]

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.

Electoral system[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

President[edit]

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]

Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Mahamadou Issoufou Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism 2,252,016 48.43 4,105,499 92.49
Hama Amadou Nigerien Democratic Movement for an African Federation 824,500 17.73 333,143 7.51
Seyni Oumarou National Movement for the Development of Society 563,613 12.12
Mahamane Ousmane Nigerien Movement for Democratic Renewal 290,688 6.25
Ibrahim Yacouba Nigerien Patriotic Movement 201,982 4.34
Kassoum Moctar Congress for the Republic 135,176 2.91
Abdou Labo Democratic and Social Convention 97,382 2.09
Amadou Cheiffou Social Democratic Rally 82,965 1.78
Amadou Cissé Union for Democracy and the Republic 69,115 1.49
Laouan Magagi Alliance for Democratic Renewal 44,685 0.96
Adal Rhoubeid Democratic Movement for Renewal 27,350 0.59
Abdoulaye Amadou Traoré Party of Progress for a United Niger 18,681 0.40
Tahirou Guimba Democratic Movement for Development and the Defence of Liberties 18,335 0.40
Mahaman Jean Philipe Padonou Convergence for Democracy and Progress 16,508 0.35
Mahaman Hamissou Maman Justice and Development Party 7,211 0.16
Invalid/blank votes 415,249 94,625
Total 5,065,456 100 4,533,267 100
Registered voters/turnout 7,580,598 66.82 7,581,540 59.79
Source: Constitutional Court Constitutional Court

National Assembly[edit]

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

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism 1,701,372 35.73 75 +41
Nigerien Democratic Movement for an African Federation 613,905 12.89 25 +2
National Movement for the Development of Society 488,584 10.26 20 –5
Patriotic Movement for the Republic 339,798 7.14 13 New
MNRDPSDN 198,444 4.17 6 +6
Nigerien Patriotic Movement 155,003 3.26 5 New
Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Progress 140,579 2.95 4 –4
Social Democratic Rally 137,577 2.89 4 +4
Democratic and Social Convention 114,321 2.40 3 0
Congress for the Republic 122,449 2.57 3 New
Rally for Democracy and Progress 114,141 2.40 3 –4
Alliance of Movements for the Emergence of Niger 142,642 3.00 3 New
Union for Democracy and the Republic 105,037 2.21 2 –4
Democratic Alliance for Niger 73,977 1.55 1 New
Alliance for Democratic Renewal 69,458 1.46 2 +2
Social Democratic Party 43,164 0.91 2 New
Party for National Unity and Development 25,492 0.54 0 New
Nigerien Progressive Party – African Democratic Rally 22,956 0.48 0 0
Nigerien Self-Management Party 22,438 0.47 0 0
Convergence for Democracy and Progress 16,923 0.36 0 New
People's Democratic Party 16,674 0.35 0 0
New Generation for Niger 16,136 0.34 0 New
Union of Independent Nigeriens 13,333 0.28 0 –1
Movement for Democracy and Reform 12,912 0.27 0 New
Socio-Revolutionary Movement for Democracy 11,282 0.24 0 New
Movement for Unity and Recovery of the Nation 8,693 0.18 0 New
IPP/RAYUWA 8,335 0.18 0 New
Democratic Movement for Renewal 6,525 0.14 0 New
Union of Socialist Nigeriens 5,250 0.11 0 0
National Movement for Reform and Social Progress 4,806 0.10 0 New
Union for Democracy and Social Progress 4,163 0.09 0 New
Party of Consultation and Peace 2,392 0.05 0 New
Socialist Party 2,356 0.05 0 New
Rally of Nigerien Democrats for Reform 360 0.01 0 0
Nigerien Convention for the Republic 66 0.00 0 0
GIE Bunkasa 18 0.00 0 New
CDR-Boukata 13 0.00 0 New
Independents 113 0.00 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 259,377
Total 5,020,167 100 171 +58
Registered voters/turnout 7,574,958 66.27
Source: CENI

Reactions[edit]

Domestic[edit]

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[edit]

  • African Union – The African Union team of 40 observers was satisfied with the electoral process of the first round of elections despite all the logistical delays.[27]

Aftermath[edit]

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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Global elections calendar NDI
  2. ^ "Présidentielle au Niger: l'OIF commence l'examen du fichier électoral" [Presidential in Niger: OIF began its consideration of the electoral register]. Rfi Afrique (in French). Niger: Rfi Afrique. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Niger election begins with a top candidate behind bars". www.ghanaweb.com. Archived from the original on 22 February 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Niger election: Voters choose president in tense polls". BBC News. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  5. ^ a b France-Presse, Agence (21 February 2016). "Niger's 'Lion' president Mahamadou Issoufou seeks re-election". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  6. ^ Republic of Niger IFES
  7. ^ Electoral system IPU
  8. ^ "Niger's President Issoufou chosen to run for second term", Reuters, 7 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Niger's main opposition names Oumarou as election candidate", Reuters, 29 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Niger : l'ancien ministre Amadou Boubacar Cissé candidat de l'UDR à la présidentielle" [Niger: Amadou Boubacar former Minister Cissé UDR candidate for president]. Jeune Afrique (in French). Rfi Afrique. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  11. ^ "CDS Rahama : Abdou Labo investit candidat aux élections présidentielles de 2016", ActuNiger, 15 November 2015 (in French).
  12. ^ "L'ex-président Mahamane Ousmane candidat à la présidentielle", Agence France-Presse, 30 December 2015 (in French).
  13. ^ "Tensions flare as Niger opposition candidate arrested on return", Agence France-Presse, 14 November 2015.
  14. ^ "15 candidates approved for Niger presidential race", Agence France-Presse, 9 January 2016.
  15. ^ Abdoulaye Massalaki, "Niger presidential candidate denied release from prison", Reuters, 11 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Niger presidential candidate declares himself political prisoner", Reuters, 13 January 2016.
  17. ^ Abdoulaye Massalaki, "Niger's Issoufou faces run-off against jailed opposition leader", Reuters, 26 February 2016.
  18. ^ Boureima Hama and Patrick Fort, "Niger opposition drops out of presidential run-off: coalition", Agence France-Presse, 8 March 2016.
  19. ^ Abdoulaye Massalaki, "Niger's opposition chief Amadou to stand in presidential run-off", Reuters, 11 March 2016.
  20. ^ "Jailed Niger opposition leader flown to Paris for medical treatment", Reuters, 16 March 2016.
  21. ^ "Niger opposition group calls for boycott of run-off vote", Reuters, 18 March 2016.
  22. ^ "Boycott helps Niger President Issoufou win re-election", Reuters, 22 March 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Niger opposition boycotts meeting of new parliament", Agence France-Presse, 24 March 2016.
  24. ^ a b Mathieu Olivier, "Niger : l’opposition boycotte la séance inaugurale de la nouvelle Assemblée nationale", Jeune Afrique, 24 March 2016 (in French).
  25. ^ "Niger opposition rejects partial election results". africanews.channel. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  26. ^ "Niger President Leads Early Election Results". VOA. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  27. ^ "Niger elections: President Issoufou to face runoff vote". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  28. ^ Mathieu Olivier, "Niger : Ousseini Tinni, député du PNDS, nouveau président de l’Assemblée nationale", Jeune Afrique, 25 March 2016 (in French).
  29. ^ "Tinni Ousseini élu président de l’Assemblee nationale", Niger Inter, 25 March 2016 (in French).
  30. ^ "Jailed Niger opposition granted provisional release after election", Reuters, 29 March 2016.
  31. ^ "Presidentielle au Niger : La Cour constitutionnelle valide la réélection d'Issoufou Mahamadou", ActuNiger, 30 March 2016 (in French).
  32. ^ "Niger ministers resign after presidential inauguration: radio", Reuters, 2 April 2016.
  33. ^ "Composition du gouvernement de la République du Niger : La Renaissance « acte 2 » en marche", ActuNiger, 11 April 2016 (in French).
  34. ^ "Assemblée nationale : Présentation de deux groupes parlementaires de l’opposition", ActuNiger, 25 April 2016 (in French).