News / Africa

Nigeria Opposition Coalition Cleared to Run

Election posters along a road on the last day of voter registration exercises in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, Feb. 5, 2011 file photo.
Election posters along a road on the last day of voter registration exercises in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, Feb. 5, 2011 file photo.
Reuters
Nigeria's electoral commission has approved the merger of three main opposition parties into a bloc that could pose the most credible threat yet to the long-ruling party of President Goodluck Jonathan.
 
Since nearly three decades of military dictatorship ended in 1999, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) has ruled more or less unchallenged, winning every presidential poll.
 
But recent internal wrangling has weakened it, and the coalition of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP) and Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) is better funded and organized than any previous opponent.
 
“The Independent National Electoral Commission has approved the application by three political parties — the ACN, ANPP and CPC — to merge into one, to be known as the All Progressive Congress,” the commission said in a statement.
 
A fourth party, the APGA, was also supposed to join to coalition, but it has yet to submit an application.
 
The PDP controls around two thirds of Nigeria's states and has a majority in both houses of the national assembly. But it is deeply divided over Jonathan's assumed intention to run for office again in 2015, a debate which has dominated politics at the expense of urgently needed economic reforms.
 
More than half of Nigeria's governors and a number of lawmakers are in revolt against Jonathan over the issue, especially northerners who felt that his running in 2011 violated an unwritten agreement to rotate power between the largely Muslim north and mostly Christian south every two terms.
 
Analysts say it remains to be seen whether the opposition coalition — largely a patchwork of competing interests from the north and the predominantly ethnic Yoruba southwest around the commercial hub of Lagos — can hold together.
 
Its two main figures — former northern military ruler Mohammadu Buhari and former Lagos state governor Bola Tinubu — are both powerful personalities on either side of the north-south divide. They will have to agree on a candidate for the 2015 presidential poll.
 
Most analysts expect a Muslim northern candidate to emerge with a southern Christian running mate for vice president.
 
The more closely fought an election in Africa's leading energy producer, the more violent it could be, analysts say.
 
Previous elections have been marred by violence, especially in constituencies that were hotly contested. More than 500 people were killed in post-election rioting in April 2011, after youths in northern towns erupted into protest over Jonathan's victory.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid