Nigeria’s INEC to Confirm Election Date After Saturday Meeting

Nigeria’s election agency will decide after a Saturday meeting with political parties if the country’s presidential ballot will go ahead on Feb. 14 as planned.

The Independent National Electoral Commission will “brief the nation on its decision with regard to whether or not the general elections will hold as currently scheduled,” Kayode Idowu, spokesman for the Abuja-based INEC, said in an e-mailed statement Friday.

INEC’s Chairman Attahiru Jega briefed a top cabinet meeting on Thursday about its readiness to hold elections in Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation, amid criticism about delays handing out biometric voter cards.

INEC is unlikely to distribute all cards ahead of polling day, Idowu said on Wednesday, with only 44 million out of 68.8 million registered voters having collected their cards.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s ruling People’s Democratic Party will face a united opposition led by former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari in what analysts expect will be the tightest contest since the PDP came to power at the end of military rule in 1999.

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