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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid