News / Africa

Nigerian President Set to Win Poll

People holding wooden and metal sticks demonstrate in Nigeria's northern city of Kano where running battles broke out between protesters and soldiers on April 18, 2011 as President Goodluck Jonathan headed for an election win
People holding wooden and metal sticks demonstrate in Nigeria's northern city of Kano where running battles broke out between protesters and soldiers on April 18, 2011 as President Goodluck Jonathan headed for an election win
Julia Ritchey

Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan is leading in results from Nigeria's election, sparking riots in several northern cities that supported his main rival. Despite continued violence, voting observers said the elections were a large improvement over past polls.

Results posted on the website of Nigeria's National Independent Electoral Committee show incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan winning 23 of the 33 states for which results are available.

To avoid a run-off, Jonathan must win a simple majority and at least a quarter of the vote in 24 of the nation's 36 states, a threshold he is close to reaching.

Jonathan was highly favored to win the elections, and an opinion survey released before the poll showed him with a double-digit lead over his closest competitor, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari.

Riots broke out Monday in the northern cities of Kaduna and Kano, Buhari strongholds, where voters disgruntled with the results burned tires, cars and buildings.  

While casting his vote Saturday, Buhari made clear he was unhappy with some reports of discrepancies at polling stations, but said his party, the CPC, would ultimately decide whether to challenge the outcome.  

“I already said this time around I am not going to court, but my party may decide to go to court.”

Saturday's poll was the second in a three-part general election being held in April. Despite instances of voter intimidation, including a few isolated bomb attacks, elections observers say there has been a marked improvement from past elections.

Observers with the National Democratic Institute monitoring group told a news conference the elections were a step forward for the country, but urged continued vigilance as Nigeria prepares for the last of its three polls this Saturday.

A leader of the monitoring delegation, Robin Carnahan, said the National Independent Electoral Committee in particular had made improvements after getting off to a rocky start.

"The delegation also commends efforts by INEC's staff, at all levels, to improve transparency and credibility. And in a very in a short time after the April 9 elections, they also continue to make improvements. For example, they improved considerably on the distribution of polling materials. They made efforts to amend the voter registry to include voters who had been wrongly excluded before. These are all things we applaud.”

Other observers, including the African Union and ECOWAS regional bloc, echoed Carnahan's findings, praising Nigeria for committing itself to free and fair elections.

April's elections are testing Nigeria's resolve to hold credible and open elections for the first time since its return to democracy after the end of military rule in 1999.

The presidential poll attracted millions more voters than legislative elections the week before. Heavy turnout also is expected for state polls on April 26, in which Nigerians will elect  governors.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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 Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid