Nigeria's ruling party to hold primaries on Jan. 13

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was chosen by a group of northern politicians as a consensus northern candidate to challenge Jonathan for the ruling party ticket.

Nigeria's ruling party to hold primaries on Jan. 13

Nigeria's ruling party said on Friday it would hold what are set to be its most fiercely contested presidential primaries for a decade on Jan. 13, ahead of nationwide elections in April.

President Goodluck Jonathan declared his bid to secure the People's Democratic Party (PDP) nomination, but his candidacy is controversial and splits have emerged in the party.

Jonathan's bid is divisive because of a PDP pact that power should rotate between the mostly Muslim north and largely Christian south every two terms.

Jonathan is a southerner who inherited office when late President Umaru Yar'Adua, a northerner, died during his first term this year.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was chosen by a group of northern politicians as a consensus northern candidate to challenge Jonathan for the ruling party ticket.

Former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida, another influential ruling party figure, threatened last week to quit the PDP if Jonathan runs on its ticket.

The stakes will be high on Jan. 13.

The PDP controls more than two thirds of Nigeria's 36 states and has a majority in both houses of parliament. Its candidate has won every presidential race since the end of military rule just over a decade ago, meaning victory in the primaries has always been tantamount to winning the presidency.



Agencies

Last Mod: 17 Aralık 2010, 15:02
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