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Vol 50 No 1

Published 9th January 2009

Before and after the voting

Ghana’s close-fought but well-run election will set a new standard for competitive politics in Africa

NIGERIA: Reform and unrest The Supreme Court’s validation of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s contentious 2007 election victory will do little to stabilise Nigeria’s fractious politics. The battle lines might be sharper still in 2009 as economic prospects deteriorate in line with the free-falling world oil price and as the pool of state largesse recedes (AC Vol 49 No 25). The more fickle opposition politicians will leave the losing parties – Abubakar Atiku’s Action Congress and the former military leader Muhammad Buhari’s All Nigeria People’s Party – and seek preferment in the governing People’s Democratic Party. This is unlikely to strengthen the PDP, which has its own internal divisions based on regional and ethnic loyalties as well as its elaborate system of ‘political godfathers’ and patronage networks.

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