Nigerian opposition parties demand election rerun

Lagos, Feb 28 (EFE).- The main opposition parties in Nigeria joined Tuesday in calling for a rerun of last weekend’s presidential election.

“The process was irretrievably compromised and we’ve lost faith in the entire process,” Labour Party chairman Julius Abure told a press conference in the capital, Abuja. “We demand that this sham of an election should be immediately canceled and new elections should be announced.”

He was joined in front of reporters by leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC).

Provisional results from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) show the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, leading with around 37 percent of the votes cast last Saturday.

The PDP’s standard-bearer, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, is second with 29 percent, while Labour’s Peter Obi has 24 percent.

The figures are based on returns from nearly three-quarters of Nigeria’s 36 states. To win the presidency, a candidate must garner the largest number of votes nationwide and a minimum of 25 percent of the vote in 25 states.

Suspicions were aroused after the uploading of tallies using the new electronic voting system was delayed due to what INEC called “technical hitches.”

On Monday, former President Olusegun Obasanjo urged the outgoing incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, to annul the elections and schedule a new vote.

“It is no secret that INEC officials, at operational level, have been allegedly compromised to make what should have worked not to work and to revert to manual transmission of results which is manipulated and the results doctored,” Obasanjo said in an open letter to Buhari.

The next president of Nigeria will have to contend with a host of problems, including surging crime and jihadist terrorism, as well as high inflation and unemployment in the oil-rich nation of 220 million people. EFE bb-lbg/dr

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