Elections and leadership in the Giant of Africa Răspunde

Goodluck Jonathan

From non-democratic regimes to fully consolidated liberal democracies, the path is never a smooth one, nor does it offer any guarantees. In this process, elections become key-elements, which help provide a better view on where a particular country places itself in this path at a certain moment in time. Like most of the other African countries, Nigeria will face new presidential elections soon. Up to this point it has made remarkable progress since the abolition of the military regime in 1999, but it still has a long way to go.

The next president is to be inaugurated on 31 May 2015, but according to the Nigerian Constitution, national elections must be held six months earlier. What is novel in the framework of Nigerian domestic politics is that for the first time in 14 years, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is facing a serious national opposition, portrayed by the All Progressives Congress (APC). Moreover, a recent split within the PDP itself has started to take shape. As a result, current president Goodluck Jonathan’s party has lost its overwhelming dominance in the Nigerian political landscape after having towered over all the other political parties since 1999 and winning every election without ever being seriously challenged. Still, optimism should be kept within realistic boundaries, as the APC is a new political construction still facing several internal challenges. More…