Monday, April 23, 2007

The deal

The results coming in indicate that Yar'Adua will win. AC won in Lagos, with ANPP winning in Kano and Abuja. Yesterday, both Atiku and Buhari said they wouldn't accept the results of the elections. Atiku said, "This is the worst election ever in Nigeria... They have no alternative than to cancel the election altogether." Buhari said, "We will not accept it. Clearly there was no election in more than half of the states. There is a constitutional way out. The National Assembly, which has been recalled by the president of the Senate, should organise the impeachment of the president." I'm not exactly sure how impeaching an outgoing president will help matters. That comment feels like unnecessary blustering.

The Senate president, Ken Nnamani, who has a stake in the PDP winning also said the elections were a sham.

Criticism from observers has been scathing to say the least. The Transition Monitoring Group was the first of the observers to say the election was flawed and should be rerun. Innocent Chukwuma who's been speaking on behalf of the group, which had 50,000 observers across the country, "from all the reports we are getting from the field, these were not credible elections, so it tends to the direction that we will reject the results and ask for new elections to be held" An observer from ECOWAS said the elections were "not free and fair". The observer team of the Commonwealth said the elections had "significant shortcomings".

The US-based International Republican Institute said the elections, "fall below the standard set by previous Nigerian elections and international standards witnessed by IRI around the globe."

And in the last hour or so, the EU has been delivering its verdict. "These elections have not lived up to the hopes and expectations of the Nigerian people and the process cannot be considered to have been credible," said Max van den Berg, chief EU observer, in a statement. It also said 200 people had been killed over the two Saturdays of polling.

So what happens next? In my opinion, this is where the courts come in. If the opposition parties push hard enough, there might be too much pressure on the government - pressure which might force it to hold the elections again. Ordinarily, the oppposition are cowed and retreat, tacitly accepting the results. Popular protest would have been one way of forcing a rerun, but there's no way of preventing it descending into a typically Nigerian bloodbath.

The courts are the key.


? said...

Thanks for update. Did I hear you say Al Gore?

Jeremy said...

the link to the EU site does not take you through to a specific page. Can you check?

Nkem said...

Jeremy, fixed.