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Nigerian Opposition Parties Make Senate Gains

  • Joe DeCapua

After casting ballots, Voters wait at their polling station in Abuja to hear the results

After casting ballots, Voters wait at their polling station in Abuja to hear the results

In Nigeria, results from the weekend senate elections bring encouraging news for opposition parties, which made gains at the expense of the ruling People’s Democratic Party [PDP].

Some prominent senators failed in their bid to win re-election, including the speaker of the House of Representatives. Senate polls were held in about 85 percent of the country. The remaining races are scheduled for April 26th.

Despite PDP losses, President Goodluck Jonathan praised the way the elections were held, saying they were free, fair and credible. He had promised the elections would be fair. Next Saturday, presidential elections will be held.

The 2007 elections were widely condemned both inside and outside Nigeria as being corrupt. That vote brought President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to power. However, he died in office and then Vice-president Jonathan succeeded him.

In Jonathan’s home state of Bayelsa in the Niger Delta, the ruling party did very well. Also, the polls in the often volatile region were peaceful.

VOA reporter Chinedu Offor is on assignment in Yenogoa in Bayelsa State. To hear his interview with Joe De Capua, click on link below.

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