Headline RoundupMarch 1st, 2023

Nigeria's Election Results Questioned by Opposition Parties, Citing Irregularities

AllSides Summary

Ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu was declared the winner of a presidential election in Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy. Opposition candidates are challenging the result and calling for a new election, citing voting irregularities. 

Election Results: It was the closest election in decades and the first in which a winner was declared without 50% of the vote, according to some reports. Tinubu, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party, received 37% of the vote. His main opponent, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), received 29%. A third opponent, Peter Obi of the lesser-known Labour Party, received 25%. 

Voting Problems: International observers and opposition parties said violence and logistical issues were rampant. Nigeria issued a redesigned currency shortly before the election, creating confusion as voters went to the polls. Yiaga Africa, a civics group, said there had been “noncompliance with electoral guidelines, lack of transparency, and manipulation of election results.”

For Context: Nigeria is projected to surpass China’s population by 2100, making it a key part of democracy’s future as countries like China champion less democratic forms of governance. Following claims of voter fraud in the U.S. 2020 presidential election, debates over voting and electoral reforms have cropped up in democracies like Brazil and Mexico — making the maintenance of democratic institutions a global issue. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage of the election and related disputes was common in outlets on the left and center. Some coverage from the right highlighted criticism of Stacey Abrams working as an election observer in Nigeria. 

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