Socialists win first round of elections

4 February 2011

Mahamadou Issoufou, leader of the Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) and an SI Vice-President, came first with 36.06% of the vote in the first round of Presidential elections held on 31 January.

The leader of National Movement for the Development of Society, Seini Oumarou, came second with 23.2%, Hama Amadou third with 19.82%, and Mahamane Ousmane came fourth with 8.42%. Electoral participation was 52.83%.

The PNDS also came first in the legislative elections, where it took 39 of the 113 seats in parliament. Oumarou’s party won 26 seats, Amadou’s 24, and Ousmane’s won two.

The second round of elections is scheduled for 12 March, and the new government should be in place on 6 April.

The military authorities led by Junta leader Salou Djibo, who seized power in 2010 following a crisis sparked by President Tandja’s attempts to extend his constitutional period in office, have won recognition for their handling of the transition and for not fielding any candidates of their own.

The conduct of the elections have been perceived as free and fair by observers.

The PNDS first joined the Socialist International in 1996, becoming a full member in 2003 and has hosted a number of meetings of the International in Niamey in recent years. Issoufou was elected Vice-President of the SI at its last Congress in Athens.