Nigeria`s Lower House votes for January polls
Nigeria is set to hold General Election in January after the country`s lower house of Parliament Wednesday voted to move up polls by three months, confirming a decision taken by the senate a week earlier.
Abuja: Nigeria is set to hold General Election in January after the country`s lower house of Parliament Wednesday voted to move up polls by three months, confirming a decision taken by the senate a week earlier.
The Senate took the same decision last week putting pressure on President Goodluck Jonathan who is yet to declare whether he intends to run as a presidential candidate or not.
Once this decision enters the gazette, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headed by radical university teacher, Professor Attahiru Jega will hasten to
prepare a voter register for the polls.
The move brings elections forward to January from April.
According to it, elections be held between 120 and 150 days before the presidential term ends, meaning polls would be in January.
The constitution previously stated that polls must be held 30-60 days before the new term begins.
The date for handover to new government in the oil rich African country has been May 29 since the return to democratic rule in 1999 after several years of military
intervention in politics.
The Parliament has also completed a constitutional amendment seen as very vital for the sustenance of democracy in the African country where the military was in power for
years before the return to democracy in 1999.
Nigeria`s elections are characterised by massive fraud but Jonathan has promised to hold free and fair elections in 2011.
Observers believe the problem militating against free elections is a political elite within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) considered to be highly influential and
hell bent on retaining power by manipulating electoral results.
The PDP has been winning the presidential elections and majority of the states since 1999. The last elections were held in 2007.