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

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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
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 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 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.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid