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I have been paying particular attention this past week to the following:
In the first of three elections, each a week apart, Nigerians go to the polls tomorrow to elect members of the National Assembly. After conflicting reports as to the preparedness of polling stations, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) addressed reporters and media outlets today to reaffirm that INEC is ready to oversee tomorrow’s elections. The Stakeholders Democracy Network is expressing concern about the potential for violence over the weekend in Delta State. It will likely be several days before we will have a good picture of how the National Assembly elections went -- the extent to which Nigerians regard the outcome as credible. So, we need to resist the temptation to rush to judgment.
At long last, the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire may be coming to an end, as Ouattara’s troops have apparently surrounded Gbagbo’s palace. In the mean time, Ivorian refugee flows appear to be accelerating into Liberia and Ghana. If Gbagbo’s forces are collapsing, as they appear to be doing, at least some credit goes to the international financial sanctions that have apparently prevented him from paying troops, leading to their disaffection.