Goodluck Jonathan Wins Nigeria Primary

Incumbent's victory lays bare north-south tensions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2011 3:26 AM CST
Nigeria's former vice president Atiku Abubakar speaks during an interview, at his residence, in Abuja, Nigeria.   (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
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(Newser) – Incumbent Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has won a landslide victory in his party's primary, but his defeated opponent warns that instability looms in Africa's most populous country. Jonathan—who came to power when the elected president died last year—is a Christian from Nigeria's south. His candidacy violates an internal power-sharing agreement to rotate the presidency between southerners and Muslims from the north, Bloomberg notes.

Defeated candidate Atiku Abubakar, a northener, is charging that vote-rigging and intimidation skewed the results. Abukabar, who may now throw his support behind a rival party, accuses Jonathan of destroying the party and says his quest for a full term is "an invitation to lawlessness." Jonathan's People's Democratic Party has won every election since military rule ended in 1999, and is expected to win the April election, despite the north-south rift.

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