ABUJA, March 1 (AP) – Ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu was declared the winner of Nigeria’s presidential election early Wednesday, and two leading opposition candidates have called for a new vote in Africa’s most populous country .
The overnight statement by election officials is likely to lead to court challenges from his main opponents, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi. Abubakar also finished second in the final 2019 ballot and then appealed those results before his lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.
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On Tuesday, the two main opposition parties called for a new vote, saying delays in uploading election results had given room for irregularities. The ruling All Progressive Congress party has urged the opposition to throw in the towel and stop causing trouble.
Tinubu received 37 percent of the vote, or nearly 8.8 million votes cast, while main opposition candidate Abubakar won 29 percent with nearly 7 million votes cast. According to the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission on live television, third place Obi won 25% of the support with about 6.1 million votes.
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Tinubu “having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” said the country’s election chief, Mahmood Yakubu.
The announcement was made just after 4 a.m., but celebrations had begun at the ruling party’s national secretariat late Tuesday, where Tinubu supporters had gathered in anticipation of his victory.
“Everyone else doesn’t match his record!” said Babafemi Akin, speaking excitedly about the prospects for the Tinubu government. “I’m sure he’ll do well.”
Tinnub, 70, is the former governor of Lagos state, home to Nigeria’s eponymous megacity. However, he lost Saturday’s election to Obi, who has attracted a strong following among young voters hungry for change.
The parties now have three weeks to appeal the result, but the election can only be invalidated if it is shown that the national electoral body has largely failed to comply with the law and acted in a way that could change the result.
Nigeria’s Supreme Court has never overturned a presidential election, although court challenges are common, including from outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, who has doggedly battled past electoral losses for months. did not succeed.
Nigeria’s presidential election has been closely watched as the country is not only the continent’s largest economy but also one of the continent’s largest oil producers.
Observers said Saturday’s election was largely peaceful, although delays caused some voters to wait until the next day to cast their ballots. Many Nigerians have struggled to get to polling stations due to a shortage of banknotes due to a currency redesign. (Associated Press)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)