Hama Amadou, former Prime Minister of Niger from 1995 to 1996 and again from 2000 to 2007 has lost chances of taking a shot at the Presidency after Constitutional Court rejected his bid on Friday.
The Constitutional Court of Niger announced on Friday November 13 the list of validated candidates for the presidential election, the first round of which is due to take place on December 27. Unsurprisingly, the opponent Hama Amadou is not included.
“The Court declares ineligible for the presidential election Hama Amadou of Moden Fa Lumana”, the president of the Court, Bouba Mahamane announced Friday. The latter, who made the announcement during a hearing in Niamey, did not explain the reason for the rejection.
The explanation is, however, known to everyone in Niger. Hama Amadou, former prime minister and former president of the National Assembly, was sentenced in 2017 to one year in prison in a case of “child supposition”, known as “imported babies”. A conviction that the applicant has always described as political.
If Hama Amadou had received a presidential pardon in March while he was serving his sentence, it was still, according to the Constitutional Court, concerned by article 8 of the current electoral code.
However, this stipulates that any person sentenced to at least one year in prison cannot be authorized to stand for election.
Hama Amadou’s lawyers have in recent months tried everything to escape the invalidation of the candidacy.
In particular, they highlighted the fact that their client would not have been deprived of his civil and political rights by the courts.
Part of the opposition called for a change in the electoral code. But the presidential majority remained deaf to their claim and the court chose to reject the opponent’s arguments.
“A political decision”
“The Court has only read Article 8. We cannot modify or interpret a law according to such and such a person”, rejoices a cadre of the Nigerian Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS, in power ). “This is a political decision that we expected,” said a friend of Hama Amadou.
“The Court proved that it was not independent and that it was under the influence of the PNDS,” adds our source.
Hama Amadou, who had kicked off a noticeable campaign for the presidency in recent weeks, has yet to officially react to his ouster, although several false messages attributed to him are circulating on social media. According to other local sources, the former prime minister left Niger for Nigeria on the morning of Friday, November 13, even before the court ruling.