Les élections législatives provoquent des émeutes au Nigéria/ Legislative elections cause riots in Nigeria

(liens en anglais/ links in english)

Le 14 avril dernier, des élections législatives ont eu lieu au Nigéria (les présidentielles auront lieu le 21 avril). Non seulement le peuple nigérian votait pour choisir les députés de l’Assemblée Nationale mais aussi pour les gouverneurs des 36 États du pays. Il semble que les résultats qui ont été dévoilés indiquent que les partis proches du pouvoir vont l’emporter. Cela a provoqué le mécontentement de la population qui s’est exprimée en provoquant des émeutes. (voir cet article du Daily Telegraph). Black Looks nous donne aussi une description de ce qui se passe au Nigéria en nous référant à plusieurs autres blogueurs.

Last April 14th legislative elections were held in Nigeria (the presidential elections will be held on april 21st). Nigerian people had to vote for their National Assembly MP but also for the governors of the 36 States in the country. It seems the results didn’t satisfy the population:

Mobs of armed youths burned houses and blocked roads in Nigeria yesterday after early results from key state elections showed an overwhelming sweep for the ruling party.

 The Opposition has claimed widespread rigging and electoral fraud in Saturday’s vote, to choose a president, powerful governors for Nigeria’s 36 states and national assembly MPs. They allege theft of ballots, under-age voting and fake results counts.

The elections were made even more chaotic today by the Nigerian Supreme Court’s overruling of an electoral commission decision to disqualify the country’s vice president from running for president.

Atiku Abubakar has been battling in several courts to get his name cleared of corruption charges.

The ruling affected not only Mr Abubakar’s candidacy in the presidential poll, but at least six states where governorship candidates were disqualified in the state election.

 President Olusegun Obasanjo, of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has tried every possible manoeuvre to block Mr Abubakar, with whom he has engaged in a bitter public feud.

The vice president will now challenge Mr Obasanjo’s likely successor, Umaru Yar’Adua, the candidate Mr Obasanjo anointed to run for the PDP.

Critics allege that the obscure 56-year-old governor of the northern Katsina state is simply a puppet to allow Mr Obasanjo to keep hold of the reins of power.

Last night, the PDP held on to 11 of the 13 states where results had been announced.

“It’s incredible,” said Lai Mohammed, a spokesman for the opposition Action Congress, which held on to the strategically vital Lagos state.

“They have awarded themselves almost every state.”

In Warri, the second city of the volatile oil-producing Delta region, gangs armed with guns and machetes rampaged through the streets.

Hundreds of people fled from their homes in fleets of motorcycle taxis or by foot.

Voter turnout in the six Delta states was low, community leaders said, due to the fear of violence.

Elsewhere, election commission offices were besieged by Opposition supporters as results began trickling out yesterday afternoon.

A spokesman for the European Union observer mission, which has refused to send delegates to the Delta over security fears, refused to comment on the allegations of fraud.

The presidential elections are billed as the first peaceful and democratic transfer of power from one elected president to another in the country since independence from Britain in 1960.

During his two four-year-terms in office, Mr Obasanjo, 70, has presided over Nigeria’s longest period of democratic government since independence.

But security in the economically vital Delta, which supplies a fifth of America’s crude oil, has plummeted as kidnappings of foreign oil workers have soared. Oil output has dropped 20 per cent.

The strongest opposition challenge, before this morning’s ruling, was expected to come from former army strongman Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria People’s Party.

The 64-year-old former army chief led Nigeria for 20 months before a coup in 1985.

You can go to Black Look to see how things went on the field during the elections. Links also lead to other blogs related to the elections.

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