Nigerien parliamentary election, 2009
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A parliamentary election was held in Niger on 20 October 2009, in the wake of President Mamadou Tandja's dissolution of the National Assembly in May 2009 and a successful constitution referendum in August 2009.
The Independent Electoral Commission announced on 15 May 2009 that the election would be held on 28 November 2009, between the first and second rounds of the presidential election on 14 November and 6 December 2009.
However, the Electoral Commission announced in June that the election would be moved to 20 August, two weeks after the controversial referendum on a new constitution that would allow President Tandja to remain in office.
This period was dominated by controversy regarding President Tandja's efforts to have the constitution changed so that he would be allowed to run for re-election; those efforts were opposed by the opposition as well as parties within the presidential majority coalition and some elements of Tandja's own party, the National Movement for the Development of Society (MNSD). In May 2009, after Tandja informed the National Assembly of his plans to call a referendum on the matter, 23 deputies asked the Constitutional Court to rule on whether he could do so. The Court ruled against Tandja on 25 May 2009; it said that although article 49 of the constitution allowed the President to call referendums, that should not be interpreted to mean he could call referendums on the content of the constitution itself, because the presidential oath required him to respect the constitution. Tandja then promptly dissolved the National Assembly on 26 May. It was suggested that he did so because he was concerned that the government would lose its parliamentary majority and face a vote of no confidence.
The election date was originally set by the Supreme Court on 19 June 2009. The Chairman of the 66 member decentralized organization which operates and certifies all elections, Niger National Independent Election Commission (CENI), Moumouni Hamidou stated, following the 18 June Court decision, that they would not hold the 4 August referendum, and were preparing almost 7 million voting cards for the 20 August legislative election.
Despite this, Interior Minister Albade Abouba announced on 28 June, following President Tandja's assumption of emergency powers, that both the 4 August referendum and the 20 August parliamentary election would go ahead.
On 19 August 2009, following the success of the referendum, it was announced that the parliamentary election would be held on 20 October 2009, with a campaigning period from 28 September to 18 October. The opposition indicated that it would boycott the election.
The opposition announced on 26 September that it was boycotting the election, and on 27 September President Tandja called for a massive turnout. The campaign began on 28 September, as planned. About 20 parties participated, although most of them supported Tandja and were allied with his party, the MNSD.
Despite the opposition boycott and warnings from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the election was held as planned on 20 October. ECOWAS promptly suspended Niger "until constitutional legality is reinstated", stating that it would "not recognize the outcome" of the election. Niger's Foreign Minister, Aichatou Mindaoudou, said on 21 October that ECOWAS had made a mistake in its "assessment of the political situation in our country" and that Niger would try to convince ECOWAS to change its position, without "cast[ing] aspersions on ECOWAS".
The turnout for the elections was 51.27% of the six million registered voters. According to official results announced by CENI President Moumouni Hamidou on 24 October the governing MNSD won the election by taking 76 of 113 seats in the National Assembly. The MNSD had held 47 seats in the previous assembly. Five parties considered allied to the MNSD won 25 seats: 15 for the Social Democratic Rally (RSD), seven for the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), one for RPN-Alkalami (a party founded in June 2009 by a former cabinet Minister), one for the Nigerien Party of the Masses for Labor, one for the Union of Independent Nigeriens (Union des Nigériens Indépendants) and one for the Nigerien Party for Self-Management. The RSD increased its number of seats by eight on the last election and the RDP gained an extra seat. Eleven independent candidates won the remaining seats, making this election the first time that independents have won seats in the assembly. The Nigerien Constitutional Court had 15 days to validate the election from the date of the announcement of the results.
|Parties||Votes total||Seats contested||Previous seats||Seats||% of 113|
|National Movement for the Development of Society (Mouvement National de la Societé de Développement-Nassara)||47||76|
|Social Democratic Rally (Rassemblement social démocratique-Gaskiya)||7||15|
|Rally for Democracy and Progress (Rassemblement pour la Démocratie et le Progrès-Jama'a)||6||7|
|Nigerien Self-Management Party (Parti Nigérien pour l’Autogestion-Al'ouma)||4†||1|
|Rally of Nigerien Patriots (Rassemblement des Patriotes Nigériens-Al Kalami)||0||1|
|Workers' Movement Party-Albarka (Parti des masses pour le travail-Albarka)||0||1|
|Union of Independent Nigeriens (Union des Nigériens Indépendants)||2ǂ||1|
|Party for Socialism and Democracy in Niger (Parti pour le socialisme et la démocratie au Niger-Alheri)||1||0||0|
|Independents (several dozen individuals and unregistered parties)||-||11|
|CFDR Opposition coalition (Boycotting)||Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (Parti Nigerien pour la Democratie et le Socialisme)||-||0||17||-||-|
|Democratic and Social Convention (Convention démocratique et sociale-Rahama)||-||0||22||-||-|
|Nigerien Progressive Party-African Democratic Rally (Parti Progressiste Nigérien-Rassemblement Démocratique Nigerien)||-||0||4†||-||-|
|Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Progress (Alliance nigérienne pour la démocratie et le progrès-Zaman Lahiya)||-||0||5||-||-|
|Union for Democracy and the Republic (Union pour la Démocratie et la République-Tabbat)||-||0||2ǂ||-||-|
|Sources:  †, ǂ = 2004 seats won as total for a two party joint ticket.|
At the official certification of the results on 11 November, the government announced that one seat, won by an independent candidate for the Tassarra constituency, was annulled by the Constitutional Court of Niger, and a by-election for that seat would take place at an unspecified date. Until that time, only 112 of the 113 representatives would be seated. A second change made by the court, annulling the vote at a single polling station in Koygolo Commune, Boboye Department, Dosso Region did not require the changing of the outcome of that seat. In doing so the Court turned down several other appeals against the results, and declared that the five-year term of the 112 deputies had begun at 0 hours, 11 November 2009, and would end at exactly 24 hours, 11 November 2014.
Seyni Oumarou, the President of the MNSD, was elected as President of the National Assembly on 25 November 2009. The vote was unanimous, with all of the 109 deputies who were present voting in favor of his candidacy. Oumarou said on the occasion that he would work to restore the National Assembly's image in the wake of the controversies of the preceding months.
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- Proclamation des résultats globaux provisoires des élections législatives par la CENI. Le Sahel. 26 October 2009. 19265 of 19325 polling places confirmed (%99.69)
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- Point de presse du ministre d'Etat, ministre de l'Intérieur de la Sécurité publique et de la Décentralisation sur la proclamation des résultats définitifs des élections législatives. Le Sahel. 11 November 2009
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- Arrêt n° 08/09/CC/ME Du 19 Septembre 2009. Full text of the Constitutional Court ruling convoking the electorate. Includes full list of parties, seats and constituencies, as well as electoral procedures, deadlines, and applicable laws.