Feature

A tainted election

The week's news at a glance.

Abuja, Nigeria

A tainted election
Ruling party candidate Umaru Yar Adua was declared winner of Nigeria’s first presidential election this week, as observers condemned widespread ballot rigging, intimidation, and violence. Outgoing President Olusegun Obasanjo promised Nigerians their first-ever peaceful, democratic transfer of power when he agreed to abide by a two-term limit and step down. Instead, international observers said, his government invented sham results to declare Yar Adua president. The U.S. said the many “credible reports of gross malfeasance and vote rigging” were nearly as bad as the “deplorable” level of violence. In several states, observers saw less than a 5 percent turnout, yet the election commission reported 80 percent, with a large majority for Yar Adua. Opposition candidates said they would challenge the results.

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