Polls Open in Nigeria's Parliamentary Election

Published on Saturday 9th April 2011

Nigerians are heading to the polls in Saturday's parliamentary elections under tight security following an explosion at an election office. A blast at the Independent National Electoral Commission late Friday near the capital, Abuja, killed at least eight people.  Several others were wounded by the explosion in Suleja.  The French news agency, AFP, reports voting in Suleja has been postponed. Nigeria has twice delayed parliamentary elections.  Last week's vote was cancelled because voting materials were not available.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     In Borno state, police say gunmen shot dead four people late Friday as they prepared to distribute election materials.  Police say one of those killed was an official from the ruling People's Democratic Party.Nigeria increased security measures ahead of Saturday's vote with the Interior Ministry shutting down the nation's land borders while police sent out additional street patrols and began restricting vehicle traffic.  The military also is keeping watch around polling centers.On Thursday, the electoral commission said ballots were still short in some areas, so polls would be closed in about 15 percent of Nigeria's constituencies.  The commission chairman did not say when those constituencies would vote.Nigeria is scheduled to hold its presidential election on April 16 and state-level elections on April 26.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.



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