Africa > West Africa > Niger > Niger Government Profile

Niger: Niger Government Profile

2013/11/09

President: Mahamadou Issoufou

President: Mahamadou Issoufou

Veteran opposition leader Mahamadou Issoufou was declared winner of the March 2011 presidential polls held to end a year-long military junta. He was sworn in on April 6.

In his fifth shot at the country's top job, the 59-year-old leader of the Social Democratic Party won 58 % of the vote.The election was aimed at returning democracy next former president Mamadou Tandja was ousted by the army in February 2010.

Regional observers and French election monitors praised Niger for the peaceful election. Next a decade in power, Mr Tandja had plunged the country into crisis at the same time as he attempted to extend his policy beyond the constitutional limits.

The military junta that overthrew him vowed to usher in a civilian government, and none of its members ran in the election.

Since independence from France in 1960, Niger has been wracked by coups.In 2011 a security official said five military officers had been arrested for planning to assassinate President Issoufou and seize power.

Government of Niger

The government of Niger is the apparatus through which authority functions and is exercised: the governing apparatus of Nigerien national. The current system of governance, since the Constitution 18 July 1999, is termed the Fifth Republic of Niger.

It is a semi-presidential republic, whereby the President of Niger is chief of national and the Prime Minister of Niger chief of government. The officials holding these posts are chosen through a representative democratic process of national and local elections, in the context of a competing multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature: its Constitutional Court has jurisdiction over constitutional and electoral matters.

National government, has, since 1999, been supplemented by locally elected officials, who in turn choose representatives at the Departmental and Regional levels. Prior to 1999, these levels of government had always been appointed by the central government.

Central governance is carried out by professional administrative agencies, directed by the Office of the President and/or the Ministries headed by members of the National Assembly appointed to the post by the President. The remainder of Ministry offices are filled by non-political professional administrators. Local governance is carried out by local, departmental, and regional councils, the Ministry of Territorial Collectivities, officials chosen by these elected bodies, and professional government employees.

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 people, 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.[1]

Government type: 

Republic

Administrative divisions: 

8 regions (regions, singular - region) includes 1 capital district* (communite urbaine); Agadez, Diffa, Dosso, Maradi, Niamey*, Tahoua, Tillaberi, Zinder

Independence: 

3 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: 

Republic Day, 18 December (1958)

Constitution: 

adopted 18 July 1999

Legal system: 

based on French civil law system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 

18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch: 

unicameral National Assembly (113 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) elections: last held 20 October 2009 (next to be held in 2014) election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MNSD 76, RSD 15, RDP 7, PNA-Alouma 1, Alkalami 1, Nigerien Party of the Masses for Labor 1, independents 12

Judicial branch: 

State Court or Cour d'Etat; Court of Appeals or Cour d'Appel

Political parties and leaders : 

Alkalama; Democratic and Social Convention-Rahama or CDS-Rahama [Mahamane OUSMANE]; National Movement for a Developing Society-Nassara or MNSD-Nassara [Hama AMADOU]; Niger Social Democratic Party or PSDN; Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Social Progress-Zaman Lahiya or ANDP-Zaman Lahiya [Moumouni DJERMAKOYE]; Nigerien Party for Autonomy or PNA-Alouma [Sanousi JACKOU]; Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism or PNDS-Tarrayya [Issifou MAHAMADOU]; Nigerien Party of the Masses for Labor; Nigerien Progressive Party or PPN-RDA; Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP-jama'a [Hamid ALGABID]; Social and Democratic Rally or RSD-Gaskiyya [Cheiffou AMADOU]

Political pressure groups and leaders: 

The Nigerien Movement for Justice or MNJ, a predominantly Tuareg rebel group

International organization participation: 

ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Flag description: 

three equal horizontal bands of orange (top), white, and green with a small orange disk (representing the sun) centered in the white band; similar to the flag of India, which has a blue spoked wheel centered in the white band