Three parties claim early leads in Nigeria’s presidential vote

Each of the three frontrunners in Nigeria’s hotly contested presidential election claimed they are on the path to victory Monday, as preliminary results trickled in two days after Africa’s most populous nation went to the polls, the Associated Press reports.

Only one of Nigeria’s 36 states has officially announced results, with the ruling party’s Bola Tinubu winning by a wide margin in Ekiti state, yet each party said it was on track to winning.

On Monday there were three front-runners in the 18-party race: Tinubu, the main opposition party’s Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi with the Labor Party. A winner is not expected to be announced until at least Tuesday.

After the previous presidential election, it took four days for officials to declare a victor. A runoff election will be held if no candidate secures at least one-quarter of the votes from two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital city, in addition to receiving the highest number of votes.

There were fears of violence on Election Day, from Islamic militants in the north to separatists in the south, but voting was largely peaceful Saturday. However, observers said there were at least 135 critical incidents, including eight reports of ballot-snatching, that undermined the legitimacy of the election.

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