Nigeria to hold extra governorship vote after hitches

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 23, 2013 9:57 AM
Nigeria to hold extra governorship vote after hitches

ONITSHA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigeria set November 30 for the rerun of parts of a state governorship election that were annulled because of suspicious actions by a polling official, in a test of the national electoral commission some 18 months before presidential polls.

Organizers said parts of Anambra state would hold a re-run after an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official distributed the wrong voting materials to polling stations, forcing the vote in those areas to be canceled. He was later handed over to the police for investigation.

Past elections in the continent's most populous country and biggest oil producer have been marred by accusations of widespread fraud. But international observers largely praised INEC for its handling of 2011 national elections, saying they were the fairest since the end of military rule in 1999.

Voting materials arrived late in other parts of Anambra state for the November 16 election and hundreds turned out to vote but complained that their names were not on the register. INEC said these people had either not registered properly or had attempted to sign-up several times and had been disqualified.

The organizer ruled out a cancellation of the entire state election, which some political parties had called for.

"INEC has fixed supplementary governorship election in areas of Anambra for next Saturday after a thorough review of the November 16 election," INEC spokesman Frank Egbo said.

(Reporting by Anamesere Igboeroteonwu; Writing by Joe Brock; editing by Ralph Boulton)