Nigeria sets elections for April 2007

LAGOS- Nigerian general elections will be held in April 2007, the head of the electoral authority said.


The vote should mark the first time in Nigeria’s coup-prone history that one elected president hands over to another.


The poll will also decide s

tate governors and federal and state assemblies.


“We have given ourselves between April 7 and April 29, so the elections will take place in that period,” Independent National Electoral Authority chairman Maurice Iwu was quoted on Thursday as saying in Nigerian newspapers.


Iwu is due to give a more detailed breakdown of the timetable in a briefing scheduled for Monday.


Election fever has broken out in Nigeria since last week, when the National Assembly rejected a bid to let President Olusegun Obasanjo stay in power for a third term.


The ruling has thrown open the contest in the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which split over the third-term issue.


Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who fought against the third term, laid claim to the candidacy on Wednesday. However, Obasanjo is expected to fight to block him and other candidates are likely to emerge over the next few weeks.


Iwu said the system of voting would be by secret ballot, and votes would be counted in polling stations in the presence of the voters. However, the National Assembly is currently finalising a new electoral law which could change that. — Reuter

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