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Al Jazeera English - News : Yar'Adua wins Nigeria elections ...

Al Jazeera English - News:
Yar'Adua wins Nigeria elections

The Nigerian elections were marred by violence that left hundreds dead [AFP]
Umaru Yar'Adua, the candidate for Nigeria's ruling People's Democratic Party, has won the country's presidential elections, according to official results.
Confirmation of the result came soon after Max van den Berg, the European Union's chief poll observer, said the elections had "fallen far short" of basic international standards.

The EU said at least 200 people were killed in election-related violence in Nigeria between April 14 and 21.
Saturday's ballot for Nigeria's first handover of power from one civilian leader to another was undermined by alleged ballot-rigging, violence and a shortage of millions of voting papers.

"These elections have not lived up to the hopes and expectations of the Nigerian people and the process cannot be considered to have been credible, " said van den Berg.

Nigeria's presidential candidates

The EU observers called for urgent action over the election, but did not say if it should be cancelled and held again.
Olusegun Obasanjo, the outgoing president, said the polls were "not perfect", but appealed to Nigerians not to lose faith in the democratic process.
He accused "some political leaders" of stirring-up violence and employing thugs to achieve victory, but said Nigerians had shown faith in democracy.
Legal action
Nigeria's main opposition parties rejected the result and said they would take the matter to court over allegations of voter fraud.
Atiku Abubakar of the Action Congress, who is also vice president, and Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP).
Tom Ekimi ,an ANPP official, said both parties "reject the results and we're going to take up the matter legally in court."
The electoral commission said Yar'Adua had won 24,638,063 votes against 6,605,299 for his nearest rival, Muhammadu Buhari.
Atiku Abubakar won 2,637,848 votes the poll said.
The 55-year-old governor of one of the country's northern states is backed by Obasanjo and was the pre-poll favourite.

Atiku Abubakar, the vice president and a former Obasanjo ally, criticised the poll as unfair and undemocratic.
"I have already rejected the elections," said Abubakar before the results were announced, demanding a re-run.
"They have no alternative other than to cancel them altogether."
"What we have seen clearly proves our fears that it is the worst election ever seen," Abubakar said.

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