Nigeria's ruling party clean sweeps disputed polls

Nigeria's ruling party won 102 out of 103 seats in elections for local council chairmen in five southern states at the weekend but the opposition condemned the polls as "a farce," newspapers reported on Monday.

Nigeria's ruling party clean sweeps disputed polls
Saturday's local elections followed a script familiar from Nigeria's nationwide polls in April, which were judged "not credible" by European Union observers who reported widespread vote-rigging and intimidation.

Electoral officials and politicians from the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) said the local polls were clean, but newspapers reported at least four deaths in fighting between rival party supporters and numerous cases of blatant fraud.

According to official results, the PDP won every single seat in southwestern Oyo, Ondo and Ogun states and in southern Edo state. In southeastern Enugu, it won 15 out of 16.

"What happened was a farce. There was no election. Did you see voters? Were there even electoral officers at most polling booths?" Tajudeen Bello, chairman of the opposition Action Congress party, was quoted as saying by Vanguard newspaper.

"They are just allocating figures and the result of such election should be rejected by all," he said.

The results of April's elections for president, state governors and legislators are still being disputed.

Courts have overturned five of the 36 gubernatorial election results, in each case because of fraud by the PDP. Many more legislative results have also been cancelled by the courts.

President Umaru Yar'Adua's position is still in doubt, with his two closest rivals challenging his victory before a special electoral tribunal in the capital Abuja.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Aralık 2007, 16:05