Johannesburg - The United States has condemned the postponement of Nigeria's presidential and parliamentary elections, alleging “political interference” with the country's electoral commission.
“The United States is deeply disappointed” by the decision to move the elections from February 14 to March 28, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement issued at the weekend.
“It is critical that the government not use security concerns as a pretext for impeding the democratic process,” Kerry said.
Nigeria's main opposition All Progressives Congress said the postponement was “a major setback for Nigerian democracy” and called on Nigerians to “desist from violence” in order to not “fall into this obvious trap.”
The electoral commission justifies the postponement with security concerns in the north-east, where the Islamist group Boko Haram is waging a terror campaign.
But the opposition believes President Goodluck Jonathan wants to gain time to sway support from the opposition, which has been going up in opinion polls.