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Challenges to Elections Quality: The Exceptionality of Electoral Dispute Resolution in Nigeria 2007 and 2011 Elections

Conflict
Elections
Candidate
Ibrahim Sani
Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
Ibrahim Sani
Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria

Abstract

Elections in many African countries is not as ‘free and fair’ and plenty of polls are still stolen. Oppositions, while not saint to rigging, continue to wrestle seemingly pre-arranged elections. The common medium used to fight post-electoral disputes are electoral courts/tribunals which many see as biased and incompetent. Despite this reality, very little is known about how ‘people of the bench’ resolve electoral disputes. How, then, do we understand electoral disputes resolution mechanism and what are its potential impacts on electoral quality? In this paper, I conduct a comparative case-oriented mixed method analysis of the perceptions of election observers, interview respondents, and citizenry on the management of electoral disputes in 2007 and 2011 general elections in Nigeria. The argument is an active or inactive electoral resolution provides political actors with a platform to expose obvious and hidden electoral corruptions forcing incumbents to consider other strategies for winning while strengthening competition.