Re­gional vote ex­tended in oil hub in Nige­ria lo­cal polls

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Vot­ing in Nige­ria’s re­gional elec­tions ex­tended into Sun­day in the restive Rivers state af­ter ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties at some polling sta­tions, as the na­tion anx­iously awaited the re­sults.

Rivers, a south­ern oil­pro­duc­ing hub, has emerged as flash­point through Nige­ria’s his­toric 2015 elec­tion cy­cle, and se­cu­rity forces were de­ployed heav­ily around the cap­i­tal Port Har­court in an­tic­i­pa­tion of dis­putes over the re­sults.

The col­la­tion of re­sults was un­der way in the bat­tle­ground of La­gos, where Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan’s Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party ( PDP) was hop­ing to take power for the first time since the end of mil­i­tary rule in 1999.

“The dia­logue sig­nals the end of the last Cold War bat­tles in this hemi­sphere,” said Ge­off Thale, Cuba ex­pert at the Wash­ing­ton Of­fice on Latin Amer­ica pol­icy fo­rum. “But I don’t think that they will be­come best of friends overnight.”

Dur­ing their pri­vate talks, Obama and Cas­tro dis­cussed the em­bassy ne­go­ti­a­tions and in­structed their teams to swiftly re­solve lin­ger­ing is­sues, a se­nior U.S. of­fi­cial said.

Ad­dress­ing a key Cuban de­mand, Obama told Cas­tro that he would de­cide whether to rec­om­mend re­mov­ing Cuba from a U.S. list of state spon­sors of ter­ror­ism in the “com­ing days,” the of­fi­cial said.

While Obama pointed to polls show­ing most Cubans and Amer­i­cans back the diplo­matic thaw, some in the U.S. Congress and on

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