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Jonathan takes early lead in Nigeria vote

[ 2011-04-18 13:27]     字号 [] [] []  
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Nigeria counted votes on Sunday after a crucial presidential election in Africa's most populous country.

Voters on Saturday were deciding whether to keep incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, who took power after former president Umaru Musa Yar'Adua died following a lengthy illness in May 2010.

Voting was generally calm in most of the country, though three explosions hit the north - one on Friday night and two on Saturday - with several wounded.

Early results showed Jonathan had done well in much of predominantly Christian southern Nigeria, including areas such as the most populous city of Lagos, where his ruling party had struggled in a parliamentary election a week ago.

Among those looking to take away key votes from Jonathan in northern Muslim constituencies is a hometown candidate - former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. He ruled Nigeria shortly after a 1983 coup. Former anti-corruption official Nuhu Ribadu is also running.

The electoral commission has said it expects to release full results within 48 hours after the end of balloting.

"Across the country it will be close," former government minister Nasir el-Rufai, a Buhari supporter, said at a vote counting center in the capital Abuja.

"My only fear is it will become a north-south issue if we see a situation where Buhari sweeps the north and Jonathan does well in the south. We may have to go to a run-off," he said.

To win in the first round, a candidate needs a quarter of the vote in two-thirds of the 36 states. There are more than 73 million registered voters and 120,000 polling stations.

A run-off between Jonathan and Buhari could risk polarizing voters along regional lines in the country of 150 million, where ethnic and religious rivalries bubble near the surface.


1. What is the name of the current president?

2. When did Umaru Musa Yar'Adua die?

3. How many registered voters are in Nigeria?


1. Goodluck Jonathan

2. May 2010

3. 73 million


(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Jonathan takes early lead in Nigeria vote

About the broadcaster:

Jonathan takes early lead in Nigeria vote

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.