7 April 2011 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed today’s inauguration of a democratically elected President in Niger, describing it as a “landmark achievement” in restoring constitutional order in the poor West African nation.
Mahamadou Issoufou was sworn in as Niger’s President today during a ceremony in the capital, Niamey, following his victory in last month’s run-off round of elections.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban “commends the transitional authorities and the people of Niger as a whole for the peaceful and responsible manner in which they have implemented the transition.”
Last year renegade soldiers stormed the presidential palace and ousted then president Mamadou Tandja, who was accused of anti-democratic practices by opposition figures and the international community.
A military ruling council subsequently dissolved the then government and suspended a controversial constitution that would have allowed Mr. Tandja to remain in power beyond his stipulated term.
In today’s statement Mr. Ban emphasized that the United Nations stood ready to support Mr. Issoufou’s Government and the people of Niger “as they embark on addressing post-transition challenges, including promoting national reconciliation and development, and consolidating stability.”
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