Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mahamadou Issoufou

Mahamadou Issoufou (born 1952) is a Nigerien politician who has been President of Niger since 7 April 2011. Previously he was Prime Minister of Niger from 1993 to 1994 and President of the National Assembly from 1995 to 1996, and he has stood as a candidate in each presidential election since 1993.

Issoufou led the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS-Tarayya), a social democratic party, from its foundation in 1990 until his election as President of Niger in 2011. During the Presidency of Mamadou Tandja (1999–2010), Issoufou was the main opposition leader.

Issoufou, an ethnic Hausa, was born in the town of Dandaji in Tahoua Department. An engineer by trade, he served as National Director of Mines from 1980 to 1985 before becoming Secretary-General of the Mining Company of Niger (SOMAIR). He is married to Aïssata Issoufou, and to second wife Dr Malika Issoufou Mahamadou.

He won the 2011 presidential election. He was inaugurated as president on 7 April 2011 and succeeded Salou Djibo who was in power as Chairperson of the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy since 19 February 2010. He named Brigi Rafini as Prime Minister.

2011 Nigerien political uprising
In July 2011, a planned assassination of Issoufou was uncovered. A major, lieutenant, and three other soldiers in Niger's military were arrested.

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