The Nigerian electoral commission said Sunday it was pushing all upcoming ballots back one week after failing to get voting materials delivered on time. The delay is all the more embarrassing as Nigeria hopes to overcome a history of chaotic polls.
REUTERS - Nigeria postponed parliamentary and presidential elections by one week on Sunday after failing to get logistical preparations in place, a major embarrassment for a nation hoping to break with a history of chaotic polls.
Africa's most populous nation will now hold parliamentary elections on April 9, presidential elections on April 16 and governorship elections in its 36 states on April 26, electoral commission head Attahiru Jega said.
Nigeria was forced to abort parliamentary elections on Saturday after voting materials failed to arrive on time in large parts of the country.
It had planned to try again on Monday, but political parties complained the timeframe was too tight.
"Following consultations we had with stakeholders, the commission has found out that the overwhelming sentiment is to further reschedule the elections," Jega said.
"All of the political parties have fully endorsed these recommendations," he told reporters.
Voting had already started in Nigeria's biggest cities -- the commercial capital Lagos in the south and Kano in the north -- and some other parts of the country when INEC decided to postpone the process on Saturday.
A Reuters correspondent in Lagos saw a policeman with a full ballot box riding on the back of a motorcycle taxi, while voters argued with election officials over what would be done with their marked ballot papers.
"Nineteen million ballot papers were exposed in Kano, Kaduna and Lagos," said Chudi Chwukwani, chairman of the opposition National Democratic Party.
"We can't vouch for the integrity of these documents and there is no way INEC can replace these 19 million ballot papers between now and Monday," he said.
Date created : 2011-04-03