Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Do Successful Elections Mean Change in Nigeria?

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TRANSCRIPT(Image Source: The Guardian (Nigeria)


Preliminary results from Saturday’s Parliamentary elections in Nigeria show major losses for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which might be an indicator of real political change.
An analyst told the BBC,

“It tells a story to every politician: You can no longer take Nigerians for granted.”

Despite reported violence, the recent election was deemed the fairest by both Nigerian and international analysts since Nigeria became a democracy in 1999. CNN’s Christian Purefoy says the change is a result of the stricter election guidelines, and also, the efforts of the people.

REPORTER: “Has anyone offered you money or threatened you?”
Tunde Kolawole: “It’s happened in the past, it’s happening now. But I’m not going to collect the money, because the money will only feed me for today.”

Saturday’s election was the first of three rounds. When the presidential election comes up, Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan is running on behalf of the ruling PDP. (Video: BBC)

Voice of America reports, smaller opposition parties pledged to support the President on Tuesday -- something that might be a response to the parliamentary election results.

“Observers say those losses may bolster Jonathan’s image as a reform candidate who campaigned on a pledge of free and fair elections. The PDP losses, they say, indicate the votes were not rigged and that as a result, the incumbent is a man who can be trusted.”

A political analyst for The Financial Times agrees, saying the outcome of the April 16th presidential elections will be based on different sentiments.

“PDP’s reduced majority is good for Nigerian democracy. But it does not present a clear picture of voting patterns in the presidential election. People voted against the PDP for a variety of local reasons. The presidential elections will bring to the fore as always the ethno-regional issues that are never far from the surface.”

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Transcript by Newsy

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