Friday, 14 January 2011

President Jonathan wins ruling party primary

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has won ruling party primaries, making him the number one favourite to win in the April elections. Jonathan managed to secure an overwhelming 77 per cent in the People's Democratic Party (PDP) primary, despite grumbles among some delegates about the need to choose a northerner.

Jonathan's main opponent, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, was backed by some of the key powerbrokers from the Muslim north. Jonathan, who is from the predominantly Christian Niger Delta, sparked controversy when he decided to run for re-election because of the power sharing agreement which stipulates power rotation between the north and the south every two terms.

Jonathan, who became leader after the death of President Umaru Yar'Adua in May 2010, won 2,736 votes to Abubakar's 805. The third candidate, Sarah Jibril, only managed to secure a single vote. Speaking about the outcome, Jonathan said that the PDP had “spoken with one strong voice."

An official for Abubakar's camp complained of irregularities in the vote, accusing Jonathan's allies of conspiring to "fish out" anyone who votes against him, however, after the results were announced Abubakar shook Jonathan's hand and congratulated him on his victory.

Sources: BBC News, CNN, Bloomberg

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

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