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Tensions rise in Nigeria as opposition demands new vote

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s opposition demanded another vote on Tuesday for the country’s presidential election, where partial results show an early lead for the ruling party.

At a press conference in the capital Abuja, the three main opposition parties said the election was an insult to democracy and called on Nigeria’s election chief to resign.

“The conduct of the 2023 elections was marred by widespread violence, rigging, voter intimidation, falsification of results and violation of the established electoral process, which was communicated by the national electoral body,” Julius said. Abure, chairman of the Labor Party. To party.

While the press conference was being held, dozens of protesters took to the streets in Abuja and South Delta State, accusing the electoral commission of disenfranchising voters.

The results of Saturday’s presidential and parliamentary elections in Africa’s most populous country were vocal, with 14 of 36 votes announced. Ruling party candidate – the All Progressives Congress – Bola Tinubu leads, winning six states, with the main opposition People’s Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar, following close behind with five. Labor’s Peter Obi, a surprise lead candidate in what is usually a two-horse race, won no states despite a strong showing in the polls ahead of the election.

To win, the candidate who leads the popular vote must also win at least a quarter of the votes in two-thirds of the states and in Abuja.

Parties have three weeks to appeal the results, but an election can only be invalidated if it proves that the national electoral body broke the law and took actions that could alter the final result.

The ruling party has asked the opposition to accept defeat and not cause trouble.

“We call on Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi to emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan by conceding defeat. This election has already been won by our candidate, according to results reported at collection centers across the state,” said Dele Alake, a spokesperson.

While Saturday’s election was largely peaceful, observers said there were at least 135 critical incidents, including widespread delays, eight reports of ballot theft that undermined the legitimacy of the country’s election.

The opposition said the delay in uploading the results of each of Nigeria’s 176,000 voting units to the electoral body’s portal gave way to irregularities.

Their request to annul the vote was not immediately taken into account by the electorate, which worries the growing tensions before May, when the new government must be sworn in.

“If the elections are canceled and we have to start again, May 29 may no longer be sacrosanct, which could lead to the declaration of a state of emergency and an interim national government,” said Hassan Idayat, Head of the Center for Democracy and Development, Nigeria’s largest democracy-focused group.

Associated Press reporters Taiwo Ajayi in Abuja, Nigeria and Sam Mednick in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso contributed

The Huffington Gt

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