The winner of the Nigerian presidential election has shrugged off accusations of mass vote rigging. Umaru Yar’Adua is said to have won by a landslide. But 200 people are reported to have died during the voting, in violence provoked by alleged intimidation of opposition candidates and lack of voting papers. Yar’Adua denied any knowledge of protests and insisted he had won fairly.
It was hoped that Saturday’s vote would mark the first peaceful handover of civilian power in Nigeria. But Yar’Adua was handpicked by the outgoing president, and international election observers have described the election as fraudulent. “The 2007 state and federal elections have fallen far short of basic international and regional standards for democratic elections,” said the EU Mission Observers. The new president says he will invite those who ran against him to work with him in running the country. But the opposition parties say they will continue their fight in the courts.