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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Legislation and the Electoral Process: The Third-Term Agenda and the Future of Nigerian Democracy
Author:Ibrahim, JibrinISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Elections
Geographic term:Nigeria
Politics and Government
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Abstract:Three major challenges face the future of both elections and democracy in Nigeria as the country moves towards the 2007 elections. The first is the will and capacity of the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to keep to a road map that will lead Nigeria to free and fair elections in 2007. The second is the ambition of President Olusegun Obasanjo to change the Constitution and have a third term in office against the wishes of a majority of Nigerians. And the third is to ensure that the next elections are not as massively rigged as the previous ones were. The logic of Nigeria's party politics is that powerful and rich political entrepreneurs seek to exclude popular candidates from their parties so that they can win an undeserved nomination for an election that will be won because it is rigged. Electoral fraud has become one of the salient features of Nigerian elections. The outcomes of many elections in Nigeria have been so contested that conditions for the survival of the democratic order have been compromised. Changes in electoral laws and political party regimes, the introduction of the open ballot system, all have failed to come to grips with electoral fraud. The fact that significantly different electoral problems have manifested themselves in the six geopolitical zones of the country suggests that Nigeria's electoral geography may provide a starting point for developing a more democratic and effective electoral system. In this respect there are lessons to be learned from the South West, where a strong civic culture imbued with the determination to protect the electoral mandate of the people has developed which can act as a deterrent to the culture of competitive electoral rigging. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]