World News

U.S. says Nigeria election was flawed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday that Nigeria’s presidential election was flawed but stopped short of calling for the poll to be overturned or for a re-run.

The ballot for the first handover of power from one civilian leader to another in Nigeria was undermined by ballot-stuffing, violence and a shortage of millions of voting papers on Saturday.

“These were flawed elections and in some cases deeply flawed elections,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, who said he hoped these problems would be resolved peacefully and according to Nigeria’s constitution.

Asked whether the United States wanted a re-run of the poll, McCormack said Washington was not calling for such a move.

But he said challenges to the election results should be made according to Nigerian law and that this was a decision to be taken by Nigerians.

“While everybody can applaud the effort of the Nigerian people in participating in these elections, the process really did not meet the hopes and the standards the Nigerians themselves set out,” McCormack told reporters.

European Union observers have also said Nigeria’s presidential election could not be considered credible. Umaru Yar’Adua of the ruling People’s Democratic Party was named winner of the poll by the country’s electoral commission chief.