This paper analyses public perceptions of the 2007 Nigerian general elections. It does this through a content analysis of the reports of domestic and international election monitoring groups and popular responses from civil society, opposition elements, mass media and notable individuals. The paper finds that public perceptions of the elections were highly negative. Opinions were canvassed widely, lending credibility to their validity and reliability, perceptions corroborated by the outcome of electoral petition tribunals which have nullified some elections. One inevitable conclusion was that the elections were the most flawed in the country’s history. Some of the most notable irregularities were late commencement of voting, inadequate voting materials, lack of secrecy in the voting process, omission of names and/or pictures of some candidates from the ballot papers, prevalence of underage voting, ballot stuffing, rampant cases of ballot-box snatching at gun point, and falsification of results. Some actions of the new government, such as the call for a government of national unity and the institution of an electoral reform panel, suggest government’s acceptance of the negative perceptions.
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Categories: Journal of African Elections