Nigerian election increase hope of peaceful; polls in West Africa

Africa Sustainable Conservation News


Nigeria election raises hope of peaceful West African polls

All Progressives Congresses presidential candidate and Nigeria's former military ruler Muhammodu Buhari (C) casts his vote in Daura, March 28, 2015. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

By Emma Farge and Daniel Flynn

DAKAR (Reuters) – Nigeria’s relatively peaceful elections have set the bar high for a string of votes this year across West Africa, though tensions in Guinea remain a concern, the United Nations’ top regional official said.

Last month Muhammadu Buhari ousted an incumbent president democratically for the first time in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy and most populous country. The results of Nigeria’s governor elections also showed a swing towards Buhari’s party on Monday.

Guinea, Togo, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso — all with a history of political violence or rocky transitions — are also due to hold presidential elections in 2015.

Mohamed Ibn Chambas, U.N. Special Representative for West Africa, said the key lessons from Nigeria’s vote were a strong electoral commission, pressure from both citizens and Western observers and the willingness of…

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