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Nigeria admits irregularities in key state poll

22 November 2013, 20:57

Lagos - The head of  the electoral agency Friday admitted "lapses" in a state poll last weekend seen as a key litmus test ahead of 2015 general elections and vowed to stage a partial re-run.

"The election in (southeast) Anambra was neither perfect nor the best election INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) has organised in Nigeria. We are disappointed with the result. We had wanted the election to be the best," Attahiru Jega told journalists.

"The election in Anambra did not satisfy both the expectation of INEC and Nigerians," he said in Abuja.

He said that late commencement of voting and a delay in deployment of election materials marred the governorship poll, and INEC has decided to organise a "supplementary election" on November 30 in the affected parts of the state.

He rejected a suggestion for a total cancellation of the poll.

Most of the leading candidates in the election and analysts have called for the November 16 election to be annulled, urging a re-run of the entire exercise.

They alleged that many registered voters were disenfranchised. One of the main candidates was barred from voting because his name was not on the electoral register.

"There were lapses in the Anambra election... But evidence before INEC does not warrant a total cancellation," said Jega, a university don and former university union leader.

General elections are scheduled to be held in 2015 in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation.




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