As Nigerians continue to exercise their civic rights by voting in Nigeria’s election, which started yesterday – March 28, 2015, the presidential election promises to be a closely fought race between Nigeria’s incumbent president seeking reelection – Goodluck Jonathan and Nigeria’s former military ruler and fourth-time presidential election contender – Muhammadu Buhari. as both have been clear favourites in the run-up to the elections.
The elections which got postponed for six weeks, just a week before they were originally scheduled to run on February 14, 2015, still had a lot of eager beavers queueing up peacefully to vote for their preferred candidates out of the 14 presidential candidates contesting the election.
How the electoral system works for the Nigerian Presidential Election
With INEC’s promise of a clean and fair election with all 14 candidates signing a binding ‘non-violent & credible election‘ agreement, the 2015 Presidential election will go down in Nigeria’s political history as the most keenly contested one since democracy returned in 1999.
The presidential candidate with the most votes as well as gains at least 25% of the votes in two-thirds (24 states) of Nigeria’s 36 states, is declared the winner by INEC
Once votes have been counted, the results from each polling unit (PU) will be uploaded to the electoral commission’s website. INEC says it expects to announce the final results within 48 hours.
If none of the presidential candidates fail to meet the criteria mentioned above i.e. the candidate with the highest votes does not have the required vote spread in Nigeria and no clear winner is produced, a run-off election is conducted between the 2 closest candidates. Victory in a run-off election is by simple majority. The law states a run-off election must be held within seven days which INEC has said it is doubtful if a run-off vote could be organized in a week.
The next round of elections come up on April 11,2015 whenNigerians will vote again to choose new governors and state assemblies for 29 of the 36 states.