Britain wants Nigeria to stage credible elections in January

8th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

British Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham on Wednesday urged Nigeria to break with a history of electoral violence and corruption to stage credible general elections in January.

Nigeria on Tuesday fixed presidential elections for January 22, national assembly elections for January 15, while governorship and state assembly ballots were set for January 29.

"It is vital that every effort is made to ensure credible elections so that Nigerian citizens have confidence in their democracy,' Bellingham said in a statement issued by the British High Commission here.

The minister said Britain and the international community "look to Nigeria to demonstrate political will and determined action to deliver the necessary preparations for a credible process."

Bellingham urged fair and impartial security for all candidates, voters and material including ballot boxes during the vote.

"The 2011 elections must show to Africa and the world that all Nigerian politicians have abandoned violence and rigging," he added.

Nigeria has a history of electoral violence and fraud.

The 2007 polls that brought former president Umaru Yar'Adua to power were adjudged generally flawed by local and international observers, including the US and the European Union.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who succeeded Yar'Adua after his death in May, has promised to organise free and fair polls in January.

Jonathan is expected to stand in the election but has yet to publicly declare his candidacy.

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article