Nigerian opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari, who campaigned on a platform of change, leads (Reuters) President Goodluck Jonathan as tallying continues. Buhari led Jonathan by three million votes, according to a count from thirty-three of Nigeria's thirty-six states, Reuters reported. On Monday, the United States and the UK voiced (BBC) concern over possible political interference in vote counting. Separately, the ruling People's Democratic Party has accused (Premium Times) the chairman of the electoral commission of bias and has signaled that it may challenge election results. Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission said that at least fifty people werekilled (Vanguard) over the weekend during the presidential and national assembly elections.
"Nigeria is on the verge of a seismic political shift. Citizens are holding their breath and hoping that the country can pass the acid test of contested election results and a federal government losing power for the first time," writes Max Siollun in the Guardian.
"The high stakes of these elections in Nigeria are illustrated by the extraordinary joint statement issued by Secretary Kerry and Foreign Secretary Hammond during the ballot-counting. However, the leverage of the United States and the United Kingdom over electoral matters in Nigeria is limited. It is Nigerians themselves, driven by specifically Nigerian factors that will determine how the country gets through the post-election period," writes CFR's John Campbell.
"A new government, whatever its stripes, will have its work cut out reforming the industry and preventing a revival of militancy in the delta. But a starting point should be to halt subsidies for fuel imports. At a stroke that would undercut a major source of corruption and crime (both on land and at sea) that spills into neighbouring countries, the destination for smuggled consignments of cheap Nigerian fuel," writes the Economist.
CFR-Daily News Brief