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Nigeria's parliamentary election kicks off amid anxiety

04-02-2011 15:27 BJT

LAGOS, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian parliamentary election kicked off Saturday morning as voters go to polls nationwide to select a new National's Assembly members.

Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. local time (GMT) and will stay open until the last accredited voter on the queue casts his or her vote.

The National Assembly has two chambers. The House of Representatives has 360 members, elected for a four-year term in single-seat constituencies.

The Senate has 109 members, elected for a four-year term, each of the 36 states are divided into three senatorial districts, each of which is represented by one senator, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is represented by only one senator.

There are more than 73 million eligible voters in the most populous African nation.

The legislative elections come amid uncertain political circumstances in Nigeria with its presidential elections due for April 9.

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has dominated Nigerian politics for over 10 years, holds more than three quarters of the seats in parliament and controls 27 of the country's 36 states, is expected to continue its solid majority of the assembly.

The Nigerian government has repeatedly promised the elections will proceed under free and fair atmosphere.

Several civil society organizations are observing the elections which will be covered by the Nigerian and foreign media.

Security forces are on high alert, with tens of thousands of military, police and navy, among others deployed across the country in anticipation of violence.

 

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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