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Nigeria after the elections: democracy at a turning point?

09 June 2011

In April 2011, Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and a growing player on the global scene, went through a series of electoral processes. The results confirmed the domination of the ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), over Nigeria’s political scene, with the reelection of the incumbent president Mr. Goodluck Jonathan.  The 2011 elections have been praised by international and domestic observers for their unprecedented freedom and fairness in sharp contrast with those held in 2007. However, the announcement of Presidential election results set off widespread politically-motivated violence, which spread the fear of communal polarisation and widening North-South rift.  Although the 2011 elections open up a route for positive change in Nigeria’s democratic institutions, the consolidation of democratic rule will depend on the ability of the political elites to address the many challenges that Nigeria will have to face in the near future.