March 5, 2015 Weekly Graphs
Many voters feel that the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was looking for a reason to delay the elections, out of the fear that they were going to lose. The opposition party has referred to the delay as “a major setback for democracy”. The graph below plots a number of indicators that capture the characteristics of Nigerian elections from 1980 until 2011. In all indicators, higher scores indicate more democratic elections. One can observe periodic fluctuations in the indicators. The democratic quality of elections in Nigeria seems to peek in 1999 and has since deteriorated, reaching an all-time low in 2007. Groups monitoring the 2007 presidential elections have described them as falling short of basic international standards in terms of poor organization, lack of transparency, evidence of fraud and voter disenfranchisement. In 2011, all indicators show an improvement compared to 2007, which may bode well for the democratic quality of the up-coming elections despite postponement.