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Nigeria Delays Elections for Third Time

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TEHRAN, April 8 (ICANA) – Voting in Nigeria has been postponed for a third time in some parts of the country as the election commission fails to print paper ballots in time.
Friday, April 08, 2011 7:35:06 PM
Nigeria Delays Elections for Third Time

"In some areas a good quantity of ballot papers had been used in spite of the postponement and it is not possible to replace enough ballot papers before the Saturday elections," said Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chief Attahiru Jega.

The INEC had pulled the plug on elections last Saturday after voting had begun in some constituencies, AFP reported.

Parliamentary polls will now be held on Saturday April 9, while presidential elections will take place on April 16, and gubernatorial elections on April 26.

Elections were originally postponed after allegations on voter fraud surfaced.

Nigeria expelled 87 nationals of the Republic of Niger after they allegedly attempted to rig this month's elections, the Press TV correspondent in the capital Abuja reported.

A state official said on Wednesday that the Niger deportees had voter registration cards, but did not indicate how those cards were obtained.

This comes as the two main opposition parties, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), challenge the president's party, People's Democratic Party (PDP).

President Goodluck Jonathan is among a slate of 19 presidential contenders in the elections.

Former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, the former head of the anti-corruption agency, and ACN representative Nuhu Ribadu are Jonathan's main rivals in the presidential election.

President Jonathan says his government is committed to holding credible polls this month and called for Nigerians to cast their votes in Saturday's election, the first of three this month.

About 500 parliamentary seats in Nigeria's bicameral assembly are also up for grabs.

Last year, more than 50 people were killed in election-related violence in Nigeria.

Reports have said that in the past Nigerian authorities recruited Niger nationals to help rig elections. The Republic of Niger is located across the northern border of Nigeria.

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