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Many Nigerian Opposition Parties Throw Support to President

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan waves to the crowd on arrival at a campaign rally in Kano, northern Nigeria, March 16, 2011

In Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan got a major boost Tuesday in his bid to win next Saturday’s elections. Some 45 smaller opposition parties now say they will support him.

But the opposition has not given up completely. The main Action Congress Party is meeting in Abuja. It’s expected to continue its challenge to Jonathan, despite the lack of support of the smaller opposition parties.

The surge in support for Jonathan actually follows some losses by major ruling PDP candidates in the National Assembly elections.

Observers say those losses may bolster Jonathan’s image as a reform candidate who campaigned on a pledge of free and fair elections. The PDP losses, they say, indicate the votes were not rigged and that as a result, the incumbent is a man who can be trusted.

What’s more, observers say Jonathan is seen as a break from the past – the old political guard.

VOA reporter Chinedu Offor is on assignment in Nigeria. To hear his interview with Joe De Capua, click on the link below.