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Nigeria's Political Opposition Rejects Results Of Parliamentary Elections - 2003-04-14


Nigeria's political opposition has rejected the results of Saturday's parliamentary elections in which the ruling party of President Olusegun Obasanjo appears headed for a strong victory.

The chairman of the All Nigeria People's Party (A-N-P-P) -- Don Etiebet -- said today (Tuesday)the opposition has decided to completely reject the results after a meeting of 28 political parties.

He said the opposition has asked Nigeria's electoral commission to remedy the situation.

With the vote in more than two-thirds of the constituencies declared, Mr. Obasanjo's ruling People's Democratic Party (P-D-P) is on course to retain an absolute majority in both chambers of the national assembly. Final results are not yet available.

The ruling P-D-P's strong showing was tempered by unexpected upsets in the north -- where several top officials lost their bid for another term to opposition candidates.

Although the vote was deemed free and fair by international monitors, at least 10 people were killed in election-related violence. There have also been charges of voter intimidation and fraud.

On Saturday, President Obasanjo faces 19 candidates in the presidential election. His most serious challenger is Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria People's Party.

Nigeria's elections are the first to be organized by a civilian government in 20 years. More than 60-million people are eligible to cast votes.

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