Nigeria’s presidential election, rescheduled to hold February 23, is headed for a run-off between the incumbent president and the main opposition candidate, Damina Advisors has predicted.
“Nigeria’s main opposition party, the center-right Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its leader Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, as well as third party minor candidates are enjoying a late surge in electoral support, but neither the government nor the opposition will likely win the required 50%+1 of the votes cast in the upcoming poll,” Damina wrote in an emailed statement at the end of a conference call Wednesday on the Nigerian polls.
Damina in a January 7 note predicted that the elections would be shifted, citing a number of possible factors, including logistics challenges.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the polls in the wee hours of Saturday 16, when the polls were scheduled to hold, citing logistics challenges that had made distribution of electoral materials throughout the country difficult.
Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution requires that for a presidential candidate to be deemed elected, he or she must score 50%+1 of the national vote, and at least 25% of the votes in two-thirds of the 36 federal states.
The Constitution also requires that a runoff be held within seven days of the declaration of results if no candidate meets the criterion above.
INEC has announced that the presidential results will be announced on Wednesday, February 27.
“If Nigeria goes to a second-round vote in early March, the gubernatorial polls currently scheduled for March 9 will also have to be postponed,” Damina said.
“Nigeria is poised to have another 6-8 weeks of intense capital markets volatility as the country, Africa’s most populous, elects a divided government for the first time in a generation,” it added.