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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's party defeated in election

By Ed Adamczyk
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's party defeated in election
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was defeated in Sunday's voting. UPI File Photo | License Photo

ABUJA, Nigeria, March 31 (UPI) -- Nigeria's opposition party claimed victory Tuesday for its candidate in this week's presidential election, Muhammadu Buhari, defeating incumbent Goodluck Jonathan's party.

With 32 of 36 districts finishing their count of votes, including that of Lagos, the country's largest city, Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) held a 2.9 million-vote lead over Jonathan's People's Democratic Party (PDP). Although the results have not been officially certified, Nigeria, Africa's most populous country and largest economy, is poised for its first transition of power after a democratic election.

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Buhari, 72, is a former army general who ruled the country from 1983 to 1985 after seizing power, and later declared himself a proponent of democracy.

Jonathan, 57, has been president for five years, and his party has held power since military rule ended in 1999. His administration weathered a number of corruption scandals, despite supervising an economy growing on average by 7 percent per year, and has been unable to control Boko Haram, an Islamist insurgency that has used terror tactics to establish a base of power in Nigeria.

Buhari campaigned on his reputation as a military leader and promised to defeat Boko Haram.

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Voter turnout was high and the election ran smoothly. Although 15 people were shot to death, largely in the northeastern Boko Haram stronghold, the level of violence and confusion was lesser than in previous elections.

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