Nigeria`s ruling party postpones primaries indefinitely

Nigeria`s electoral commission needs more time to finalise the voter list.

Updated: Sep 24, 2010, 11:33 AM IST

Abuja: Nigeria`s ruling party has postponed indefinitely its primaries earlier scheduled for mid-October to select its presidential nominee, according to a media report.

This comes against the backdrop of a request by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the date of elections scheduled for January.

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agreed to suspend all congresses and primaries billed for October 18-20, Nigerian daily `Thisday` reported on Thursday.

The decision was taken by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party after a meeting here on Wednesday.

The oil-rich African nation`s electoral commission has requested for delay in the nation-wide elections stating that it needs more time to credibly finalise the voter list.

The body is under pressure to deliver credible elections after a history of electoral rigging which has marred the country`s attempt to advance its democracy which is the largest in Africa.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has announced his decision to contest in order to continue as president at a well attended rally here.

Africa`s most populous country with a population of 150 million, is set to hold elections for the fourth time since returning to democracy after a long military rule in 1999.

Since then, Presidential Elections which are conducted every four years have been won by the PDP.

Though opposition parties have challenged the victories, the courts have ruled in favour of PDP citing lack of evidence to prove the elections were rigged.

The present exercise has been marred by power rotation adopted by the ruling party to revolve the presidency between the largely Muslim north and the Christian dominated south.

Jonathan, who is from the Niger Delta in the south, inherited the presidency when president Umaru Yar`Adua, a northerner, died this year during his first term.

PTI