Nigeria postpones general elections

14:36, April 04, 2011      

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Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday announced postponement for this year's general elections, following Saturday's postponement of the parliamentary elections.

The parliamentary elections, which were due to be held on Monday, have now been shifted to April 9 after INEC caved into pressure from the political parties.

All the other elections have also been moved back a week. The presidential elections will now be held on April 16.

The gubernatorial elections will be held on April 26, as April 22 falls during the weekend of Easter.

INEC had previously fixed April 2 for the National Assembly polls, April 9 for the presidential elections and April 16 for the governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.

Chairman of the commission Attahiru Jega said the postponement was a difficult but necessary decision for a free and fair poll.

The announcement was made late Sunday after INEC met with political party leaders.

Jega told a press conference in Abuja that the commission had been advised to move the dates again in order to meet with all the outstanding issues.

According to him, about 15 million people had already voted before news of Saturday's postponement came through. He appealed to voters to bear with them as the situation is sorted out.

Source: Xinhua

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