Diori, Hamani

Diori, Hamani, 1916–89, Nigerien political leader. A teacher in Niger and Paris, and then a school headmaster in Niamey, Niger, he helped found (1946) the Niger Progressive party (PPN). After serving in the French National Assembly and later as chair of Niger's assembly prior to independence, he became (1960) Niger's first president and the PPN became the country sole party. He was reelected unopposed in 1965 and 1970 and served at times as defense minister (1960–63) and foreign minister (1960–63, 1965–67). His government, which maintained close ties with France, suffered from significant corruption. In 1974, Diori was overthrown in a military coup led by Lt. Col. Seyni Kountché. He subsequently lived in exile in Morocco.

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