Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Obasanjo loses 3rd term battle

(updated below)

After much wrangling, bribery, and back-room dealmaking with state governors also interested in keeping their highly lucrative jobs, Nigerian President Olusegun Obsanjo's 3rd term bid is now dead. From Reuters via Business Day (South Africa):

The surprise move was greeted with dancing, shouts of joy and hugs among many senators, who had argued that the amendment was a threat to democracy in Africa’s biggest oil producing country.

"The Senate has said clearly and eloquently that we will discontinue further processes on this amendment bill," Senate President Ken Nnamani said after senators resoundingly voted against giving the bill a second reading.

The vote cut short the debate of the amendment in the upper house and took place after an unsuccessful attempt by third term supporters to postpone discussions for a week.

"The bill is dead. It cannot be brought again until the lifespan of this Senate terminates. That is victory for democracy," said Senator Abu Ibrahim of the opposition All Nigeria People’s Party in Katsina state.

So that's it, then. On to persecuting homosexuals.

UPDATE: Here's the story from the Washington Post Foreign Service.

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