Nigeria’s Hopeful Election

Issue Date July 2015
Volume 26
Issue 3
Page Numbers 94-109
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Nigeria’s March 2015 elections ushered in a historic moment—for the first time since the country gained independence 55 years ago, the opposition won a national election. The successful challenge came from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Muhammadu Buhari. Given Nigeria’s history of electoral flaws and violence, as well as concerns that the military was growing impatient with civilian rule, the peaceful conduct of the elections proved an especially welcome surprise. With the emphasis having shifted from fear to hope, the elections have the potential to be politically transformative, even if the new government—which faces daunting problems—falls short of its supporters’ elevated expectations.