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Vol 48 No 9

Published 27th April 2007


Nigeria

The dealmaking begins

The victorious People's Democratic Party wants to co-opt enough dissenters to put the rigged election furore behind it

Time is pressing President-elect Umaru Yar'Adua ahead of the planned inauguration on 29 May. By then, he will have to put together his government transition team from the rival factions of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), as well as bringing in the promised new and politically independent talent. He will also have to assuage his bitter opponents in the opposition parties who are furious at the high level of fraud in the 14 and 21 April elections. Just as important will be the messages sent to Western governments and investors about the disputed elections and risks to stability. Other leading investors from China and India seem unfazed by the election rumpus. South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, who knew the Yar'Adua family when he lived in Nigeria in the 1970s, sent a formal note of congratulation to Umaru Yar'Adua on 25 April. Although tetchy in recent times, Nigeria's diplomatic and economic relations with South Africa are likely to improve as the new order in Abuja beds down. Many of the PDP's leading business backers have substantial commercial interests in Abuja.

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