Niger Political System

Political system

Short for NG, Niger is supposed to be a republic with a multi-party system. Presidential and parliamentary elections are held every five years. The president appoints a prime minister who leads the government’s work, but the president has great influence over the decisions that are made.

The president is head of state and commander-in-chief. She appoints the Prime Minister and on his proposal other ministers in the government. The President cannot be re-elected more than once.

The legislative power lies with the General Assembly with 171 members (the number increased from 113 before the 2016 election). Parliamentary elections are held simultaneously with the presidential election every five years.

A quarter of the ministerial posts should go to women and women should make up at least a tenth of the MPs.

To amend the Constitution, both the President’s approval and four-fifths of the Members of Parliament are required to vote in favor of the proposal.

Political parties

The constitution guarantees freedom of association, but it is not allowed to form parties that are aimed solely at a particular people group, region or religion. Many parties were founded in the early 1990s when democracy was reintroduced after decades of dictatorship. The parties are often built around a leading person. Ideology plays a minor role. Conversions and exchanges of alliances are common.

The largest party (since the 2016 election) is President Mahamadou Issoufous’s Nigerian Party for Democracy and Socialism (the Nigeria Democracy and Socialism Party, PNDS), which was founded in 1990 and has a leftist imprint.

The second largest in the 2016 election was the Movement for a Democratic Niger (Mouvement Démocratique Nigeria, Moden). The party is led by Hama Amadou who has been prime minister for two periods, most recently 2000-2007 during Mamadou Tandja’s time as president. When Amadou and Tandja came into conflict, among other things about Tandja’s attempt to extend his mandate (see Modern History), the Moden 2009 was formed by defectors from the Tandja Party National Movement for Social Development (Mouvement National de la Société de Développement, MNSD).

MNDS was founded in 1988, at the end of the military dictatorship. The party ruled from 1988 to 1993 and for a further short period from 1999 until the beginning of 2010 when Tandja was deposed in a coup. MNDS is described as a center-right party and came in third place in the 2016 election. It is today led by Seyni Oumarou, formerly Tandja’s head of government.

Nigeria Urban Population



Demonstration against the President

About 20,000 people attend the first major demonstration against President Issoufou and his government in the capital. Organizers are the Alliance of the Republic, Democracy and Reconciliation in Niger (ARDR), which brings together 15 opposition parties. The governing bodies are mainly criticized for corruption and media censorship.


Demonstration ban is lifted

A ban on opposition groups to conduct public demonstrations is lifted.

Mobile subscriptions are turned off

The telecommunications authority shuts down almost a third of the mobile subscriptions and the sale of unregistered SIM cards is prohibited. The intention is to prevent criminals from committing crimes in the protection of anonymity.

Refugee stream from Nigeria

UN agency Ocha reports that Niger has received about 40,000 refugees from Nigeria in a few months. The refugees have been driven off by a Nigerian army offensive against the Islamist extremist movement Boko Haram. The refugee stream adds another strain to Niger’s already difficult supply situation.

Human traffickers are arrested, migrant camps closed

The government orders that all migrant camps be closed. The order is an attempt to put an end to the flow of African migrants north to Europe. The decision is made after 92 people were found dead in northern Niger after their vehicles broke down and the drinking water ran out. About 30 people are arrested for human smuggling. Among the arrested are employees within the security forces. Authorities say a network of human traffickers has been revealed and among those arrested are those who left the 92 refugees to die in the desert.


Aqim releases kidnapped Frenchmen

Four Frenchmen held captive by the extreme Islamist movement Aqim are released (see September 2010). The circumstances surrounding the release are unclear, among other things, it is not known if any ransom has been paid.


The government is cracking down

Hama Amadou’s Party Moden leaves the government coalition with President Issoufou’s party PNDS. The reason is that Moden is dissatisfied with the allocation of ministerial posts. The drop-off means that Issoufou loses the support of its most important partner and that the government is weakened.


Many dead in suicide bombings in the north

More than 20 people are killed and dozens injured in two coordinated suicide attacks against a military site and a uranium mine in northern Niger. The al-Qaeda- affiliated group The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao) takes on the deed. Later, a spokesman for the Islamist group Written in the Blood Battalion says the deed was planned by the group’s leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who was also behind the attack on a gas plant in Algeria in January 2013 when over 60 people were killed. According to the spokesman, the deed was performed in Niger together with Mujao.