Press StatementTom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
April 27, 2007
The United States regrets that Nigeria has missed an opportunity to strengthen an element of its democracy through a sound electoral process. Analysis of the process by most international observers does not conform to what Nigeria’s national electoral commission has reported. There are credible reports of malfeasance and vote rigging in some constituencies. The scope of violence that occurred also was regrettable. Overall, the process was seriously flawed. In spite of these significant shortcomings, the commitment of ordinary Nigerians to democracy remains noteworthy: We praise those Nigerians who adhered to the democratic process by exercising their right to vote.
The United States urges all Nigerians to eschew violence or any other extra-constitutional actions that would foster insecurity and hamper political dialogue. We commend those political party leaders who are urging their supporters to remain calm and peaceful notwithstanding disappointment with the conduct of the election. A peaceful, constitutional, and civilian-controlled resolution of challenges to the electoral results is vital for the growth of democracy in Nigeria. Whatever the outcome of legal challenges to the electoral results, we are encouraged that on May 29 Nigeria will experience its first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power.
The United States is prepared to work with Nigeria’s next administration in building upon our excellent bilateral relations and to continue promotion peace and security throughout Africa. We also look forward to helping it implement international recommendations for improving the preparation, administration, and conduct of future elections in Nigeria.
Released on April 27, 2007