TIMELINE-Niger holds presidential elections

Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:15pm GMT

Jan 28 (Reuters) - Here is a timeline of major events in Niger over the past two decades as the West African state holds presidential elections on Monday:

April 1993 - The Supreme Court declares Mahamane Ousmane Niger's first democratically-elected president. Results from the March 27 poll give social democrat Ousmane 55 percent and 45 percent to rival Mamadou Tandja, of the former ruling National Movement for a Society of Development (MNSD), the only party allowed prior to 1990 democratic reforms.

January 1996 - Army officers stage a coup, saying political squabbling had threatened economic reforms, incurring the anger of former colonial power France.

-- Armed forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant-Colonel Ibrahim Bare Mainassara becomes leader, saying the aim of the coup was to allow a fresh start and not to end multi-party democracy.

April 1999 - Dissident soldiers kill Mainassara at Niamey airport. Two days later Daouda Malam Wanke, commander of the presidential guard, takes power and later announces an elected president and return to civilian rule to be in place by 2000.

November 1999 - Tandja wins Niger's presidential election, defeating former Prime Minister Mahamadou Issoufou and wins a second term after Dec. 2004's vote and run-off.

July 2005 - The opposition Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) sharply criticises Tandja over his handling of a growing hunger crisis affecting 3.6 million people in Niger.

August 2007 - Tandja declares a state of alert in the desert north, giving security forces additional powers in their fight against Tuareg-led rebels.   Continued...

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