Nigerian Election Results Hotly Disputed Opposition candidates for Nigeria's presidency refuse to accept results that show a win for ruling-party candidate Umaru Yar'Adua. Outside monitors also say voting was marred by violence and ballot tampering.
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Nigerian Election Results Hotly Disputed

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Nigerian Election Results Hotly Disputed

Nigerian Election Results Hotly Disputed

Nigerian Election Results Hotly Disputed

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9766502/9766503" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Presidential candidate for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) Umaru Yar'Adua waves to the crowd after casting his vote in Katsina, Nigeria. Yar'Adua was declared winner of the presidential election in Nigeria Monday. Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

Presidential candidate for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) Umaru Yar'Adua waves to the crowd after casting his vote in Katsina, Nigeria. Yar'Adua was declared winner of the presidential election in Nigeria Monday.

Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

Presidential candidate for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) Umaru Yar'Adua, left, appears on a billboard with running mate, Goodluck Jonathan. Yar'Adua was declared winner of the election on Monday. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR hide caption

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Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR

Presidential candidate for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) Umaru Yar'Adua, left, appears on a billboard with running mate, Goodluck Jonathan. Yar'Adua was declared winner of the election on Monday.

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Several new stories today reflect the progress of democracy or the lack of it. Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin has died. He presided over that country's first steps toward democracy in the '90s. He also installed a successor, Vladimir Putin, who's been seen as sending democracy in retreat. Russia's uncertain democratic future gives it something in common with a nation that held an election over the weekend.

MONTAGNE: NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

OFEIBEA QUIST: We're outside Lagos now in the neighboring state, Ogun State. Yes, am I right, ma'am?

QUIST: Yes.

QUIST: We're you able to start your day on time?

QUIST: Yes. We started on time. We started at roughly 10:00 o'clock.

QUIST: Maurice Iwu, the commission chairman, defended the rush job, delivering the newly printed presidential ballots to more than a hundred thousand polling stations across this vast country with its crumbling infrastructure.

MONTAGNE: We did respond to the emergency the best we can. And what we did - I don't know any other country in the world that would have done it better.

QUIST: Critics accuse Nigeria's electoral commission of creating the crisis in the first place by excluding Atiku from the ballot. The vice president, who stood against President Olusegun Obansanjo's favored presidential candidate, Umaru Yar'Adua, has already condemned the vote. Atiku said the government must simply scrap a deeply flawed presidential poll.

INSKEEP: They have no alternative than to cancel these elections altogether. In fact, I already rejected the election. If there is no way credible, legitimate elections can be conducted under the president (unintelligible) Obasanjo.

QUIST: Now, many Nigerians say they have little confidence that the results, once they're announced, will be fair because of alleged vote fraud and abuses. Here's a sampling of what some Nigerian voters across the country thought of the polls.

QUIST: I'm not happy at all. Because there is a lot of rigging and malpractices a lot. A lot of (unintelligible) no election, all over the country there is no election.

QUIST: Well, I just pray that this election gets to a point where things would be done as they ought to be done. But that it should be done how is done in the developed nations.

QUIST: But the National Election chairman, Maurice Iwu, said his commission deserves straight A's for organizing what he called good presidential and national assembly polls.

MONTAGNE: We have had a successful election. It was free and fair. We shouldn't loose sight of the big picture, that we did succeed in a major undertaking, that this is the first time in our history that we have had a (unintelligible) elections.

QUIST: Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright headed the Washington-based National Democratic Institute's Observer Mission here in Nigeria. She spoke on the eve of Saturday's key presidential vote.

MONTAGNE: I think having Nigeria democratic is not only important for the people of Nigeria but for Africa generally and therefore the world.