Nigerian election result will not be annulled

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Umaru Yar'Adua

A judge has ruled today that Nigeria's 2007 election results, which saw Umaru Yar'Adua's become president, will not be annulled. Opposition parties claimed that the People's Democratic Party (PDP), of which the President is leader, fixed the results of the 2007 election in his favour and called for a re-run.

The tribunal ruled unanimously against the claims, with Judge Abdulkadir Abubakar Jega stating that there was no evidence that Mr. Yar'Adua had rigged the polls. Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, leaders of the two opposition parties who launched the case, have both said they will take their complaints to the Supreme Court.

International suspicions were also raised at the time of the election, with some voicing concern over the politcal process.

The ruling could have negative impacts - it could be seen as an admittance of a 'false democracy' occurring in the last election and therefore undermining the political process in Nigeria. This could cause instability between political rivals and may spark protests.

Yar'Adua assumed office on 29th May 2007 after the election in April, where he won 70% of the vote. Since then, he has became the first Nigerian leader to declare his personal assets, as well as overturning hikes in petroleum and tax made by the previous government. Despite these positive steps, he has also been surrounded by controversy, with several governors who served him before 2007 being charged by the EFCC, the anti-corruption commission.

Election annulments have been passed for seven of thirty-six state governors and even the senate president, David Mark.