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Vol 52 No 8

Published 15th April 2011


Nigeria

A trap for the juggernaut

The governing party has taken a hit in the National Assembly but Goodluck Jonathan remains favourite to win the presidential vote

Parliamentary elections on 9 April showed that Nigerians are no longer willing to be taken for granted by the People’s Democratic Party, which has towered over the political scene for twelve years. Indeed, the PDP’s dominance of the National Assembly was the main casualty. Most observers think this a good start in moving towards greater accountability. The PDP could well lose its overall majority in the Assembly but many results will be disputed. In the 2007 polls, the PDP had won 87 of the 109 Senate seats and 263 of 360 in the House of Representatives: that will be sharply cut. Logistical problems meant the polls had to move from 2 April; in 15 senatorial districts and 48 federal constituencies, the vote will be on 26 April. Yet the Independent National Electoral Commission emerged with credit. The European Union’s Chief Observer, Alojz Peterle, commended INEC for a job well done, as did Johnnie Carson, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

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