Following an attempt by President Mamadou Tandja to extend his term in office a successful military coup was led by Gen Salau Djibo in February 2010.
The junta named itself the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy and installed a civilian Prime Minister, Mahamadou Danda at the head of an interim government.
The military junta promised democratic elections within one year and submitted a new constitution to the people in a referendum in October 2010. The new constitution was overwhelmingly endorsed. With turnout at around 50%, 3,124,152 voted yes and just 340,115 voted no to the new constitution.
Members of the junta have barred themselves from standing in the election.
Elections were set for 31st January 2011 with campaigning starting on 9th January 2011. If a second round is needed for the Presidential election then this will take place on 12th March 2011.
Regional and Municipal elections are being held on 8th January 2011 with the campaign opening on 30th December 2010.
The President is elected for a five-year term and is eligible to stand for a second term.
The unicameral National Assembly has 113 members elected to serve five-year terms.
The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2016 places Niger at joint 101st out of 176 countries with a CPI 2016 score of 35 (where 100 is least corrupt).