Results in Nigeria election expected from Monday

2015-03-29 20:12
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, and opposition candidate General Muhammadu Buhari, after signing a renewal of their pledge to hold peaceful "free, fair, and credible" elections. (Ben Curtis, AP)

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, and opposition candidate General Muhammadu Buhari, after signing a renewal of their pledge to hold peaceful "free, fair, and credible" elections. (Ben Curtis, AP)

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Abuja - First results of Nigeria's presidential election could be given from Monday, the head of the country's electoral commission said on Sunday, as voting went into a second day after technical glitches.

"Our hope is to be able to declare within 48 hours [of polls closing on Saturday] and hopefully within less time," said Attahiru Jega, chairperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Technical problems with new devices to "read" biometric voter identity cards along with the delayed arrival of election material and officials forced INEC to extend voting into a second day on Sunday.

Jega said that 348 polling stations across the country were affected, including 90 in the financial hub of Lagos in the southwest, and two in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.

But he said that collation of results in the presidential election had already begun in places where no problems with voting were reported and polling stations had closed.

President Goodluck Jonathan is hoping for a second term of office but is facing a strong challenge from the main opposition candidate, former military general Mohammadu Buhari.

Jonathan's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) have traded accusations since Saturday evening about irregularities in voting.

Jega said that INEC had received reports of alleged rigging in some places, including the use of under-age voters, and also a request from the APC to re-run the vote in the southern state of Rivers.

He told a news conference that the reports would be investigated but said that INEC was confident that its objectives of holding a "free, fair, credible and peaceful" election were "on course".

"We appeal to all Nigerians to remain peaceful as they await the return of these results," he added, with fears of a repeat of post-poll violence that in 2011 left some 1 000 people dead.

Read more on:    mohammadu buhari  |  goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  nigeria elections 2015

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