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April polls: US wants all candidates to contest, praises Kaluís clearance

Posted by By IKE NNAMDI, The Sun Reporter, Washington DC on 2007/03/14 | Views: 517 |

April polls: US wants all candidates to contest, praises Kaluís clearance


The United States has asked the Nigerian government to allow as many candidates as possible to run in next monthís election as a practical demonstration of commitment to democratic principles and rule of law.

The United States has asked the Nigerian government to allow as many candidates as possible to run in next monthís election as a practical demonstration of commitment to democratic principles and rule of law.

Reaction to comments by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Maurice Iwu, that Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Kalu is cleared to run in the presidential election, the US State Department said the exercise should not be closed to anyone willing to contest.

"We have always maintained that Chief Kalu would make a great leader and it is undemocratic to ban anyone who desires to run for elective office unless disqualified by a court of competent jurisdiction," the State Department stated.

The U.S officials noted that the Abia State governor had put his life and businesses on the line in defence of democracy and should not have been included in the alleged list of banned officials.
"We hope that he and other candidates would be allowed to campaign unhindered by the government," the statement stated.

The administration also revealed that it had received a petition from Vice President Atiku Abubakar on fears that the election may have been programmed to fail.
White House sources said President George Bush has directed Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to take up the matter with Nigerian officials. The administration had expressed concern over what it called growing violent expressions of political will ahead of next monthís elections. It said the development was capable of undermining the nation's future.

The State Department stated that violence at recent political rallies in parts of the country was ominous.
"Violent expressions of political will are unnecessary, unacceptable and illegal," the statement said, adding: "Electoral violence not only threatens the credibility of elections but also damages the legitimacy of democratic institutions by weakening two fundamental human rights; freedom of association and freedom of speech.

"Furthermore, with violence comes destruction of property and businesses, which negatively impacts, on the economic progress and development. Let us not also forget the human toll. Electoral violence affects everyone, families, communities and the entire nation."

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.