News / Africa

Nigeria Opposition Makes Gains in Legislative Vote Tally

Supporters of the Accord Party celebrate after they discovered they were reportedly leading after the counting of an election ballot papers at Oyeleye ward in Ibadan, Nigeria, April 9, 2011
Supporters of the Accord Party celebrate after they discovered they were reportedly leading after the counting of an election ballot papers at Oyeleye ward in Ibadan, Nigeria, April 9, 2011
Julia Ritchey

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's ruling party is leading in the vote tally from the April 9 parliamentary elections, but opposition parties have made gains. Poll observers say despite violence at some polling stations, the vote was mostly fair.

The results released so far from Nigeria's parliamentary polls show the ruling People's Democratic Party with a decisive yet shrunken majority in the National Assembly.

The Independent National Electoral Committee on Monday said the PDP won a little more than 50 of the 103 seats in the House, and 36 of 56 seats in the Senate.

The results were something of a blow to the PDP, which lost several high-profile races. The opposition Action Congress of Nigeria made gains in the southwest, and the Congress for Progressive Change party picked up seats in the north.

Several Senate seats are still up for grabs in the 15 percent of the country which has yet to vote due to ballot distribution problems. Logistical problems forced the electoral committee to delay polls twice last week before deciding to proceed in part.

A few violent incidents cast a shadow over the April 9 voting, including a bombing at a polling station just outside of Abuja that killed 12 on the eve of the election, and another bomb attack in the northeast that killed one person and injured several others.

Poll observers said despite imperfections, the elections were mostly fair with fewer reports of vote rigging and violence than in the past.

Former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine is in Nigeria as part of a monitoring delegation for the National Democratic Institute - a non-partisan U.S. organization that works to strengthen democratic institutions worldwide. He says overall, the process was an improvement.

“Understanding that the context of violence in the country, which is tragic, and some imperfections and irregularities that we saw across the country, on balance, we think it was a very effective democratic process of choice,” he said.

Nigeria's parliamentary poll was a prelude to the presidential election this coming Saturday and state elections to be held April 26.

An opinion survey released last week showed President Goodluck Jonathan in a double-digit lead over his closest competitors - though if Monday's results are any indication, the margin of victory could be smaller. The PDP has won every presidential race since the end of military rule in 1999.

Corzine said he thinks the elections for president and governors could present more challenges because they will attract more voters.

Nigeria's government and Independent National Electoral Committee have ramped up security and installed high-tech voting procedures to try to cut down on ballot tampering.

The elections this month are seen as a test for Africa's most populous nation to see whether it can hold credible polls. Nigeria's last polls in 2007 were widely criticized for violence and fraud.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid