Nigeria ruling party wins poll but EU insists result not 'credible'

[JURIST] The head of Nigeria's electoral commission [official website] announced Monday that ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) [BBC backgrounder] candidate Umaru Yar'Adua [BBC profile] won the country's weekend presidential election by a landslide - taking 24.6 million votes as against 6.6 million for former army general Muhammadu Buhari [campaign website] - but European Union observer Max van den Berg [official website], echoing sharp criticism of the poll [JURIST report] by NGO representatives and Nigerian opposition leaders, said the election was not "credible" [Reuters report] and had not "lived up to the hopes and expectations of the Nigerian people." Current Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [official website] admitted in a national address delivered prior to the announcement of the results that the poll had been flawed but accused opposition figures of "fanning the embers of hate." Challenges, he insisted, should be handled through the courts. Buhari has already rejected the results of the vote and has publicly urged parliament to impeach Obasanjo for his role in the process. Current Nigerian Vice President and onetime Obasanjo ally and running mate Atiku Abubakar [official website] garnered 2.6 million ballots Saturday after being allowed onto the ballot by an eleventh-hour court ruling [JURIST reports].

The presidential election was the second in a two-stage sequence of hotly-contested national polls that began with state races [JURIST report] 10 days ago. Violence associated with that round of voting took some 50 lives. Barring other developments, the winner of the presidential race is expected to take office May 29. Reuters has more.

 

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