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Apr 17,2007
Rights group denounces Nigerian election
by UPI

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria - Human Rights Watch said Tuesday Nigeria's regional elections last weekend were so corrupt, they should be rerun.

The report said observers and journalists saw cases where there was no voting taking place, yet Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission later reported voter turnout in excess of 90 percent.

As well, it said observers watched ballot boxes being stuffed with ballots marked in favor of the ruling People's Democratic Party in plain view.

"In several key states, the Nigerian government failed completely in its obligation to conduct a free and fair election." said Peter Takirambudde, Africa director for Human Rights Watch. "Unless the government dramatically changes course, next weekend's presidential elections will be undermined by the same patterns of violence and fraud we saw last Saturday."

Nigerian electoral and government officials claim the polls were conducted in an entirely satisfactory manner, the report said.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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