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Nigeria to add VP to presidential ballot after high court ruling

[JURIST] The Nigerian electoral commission said Tuesday that Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar [official website] would be included on the ballots for this coming Saturday's presidential elections, after the Nigerian Supreme Court [official website] overturned his disqualification [JURIST report] as a candidate. A spokesman for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) [official website] did not say how Abubakar's name would be added to the 61 million already-printed ballots and did not specifically confirm that the elections would be able to go forward this weekend.

The announcement to include Abubakar coincided with a statement [text] by Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] which said last Saturday's elections for Nigerian governors and state officials [JURIST report] in 14 key states were "so marred by fraud, intimidation and violence that the results in at least those states should be canceled and the polls re-run." Peter Takirambudde [Wikipedia profile], Africa director for HRW, said that the presidential elections will suffer the same fate unless the Nigerian government "dramatically changes course."

Those opposing the results of the state elections have been protesting in the streets, leading Nigerian police to ban all political rallies [SABCNews report]. INEC officials are scheduled to meet with security agencies Tuesday to discuss concerns of violence during the upcoming presidential elections. AP has more.

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