President-elect Mohammadu Buhari speaks after casting his vote at a polling station in Daura in Katsina State on March 28, 2015. Photo: Getty Images
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Goodluck Jonathan concedes Nigerian presidential election

Ruling president peacefully concedes power to opponent after loss.

Multiple sources are reporting that Goodluck Jonathan, the president of Nigeria, has lost the presidential election - and has called his opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, to concede defeat.

Votes are still being counted in Africa's most populous nation, but with a current lead of more than three million votes, it is almost impossible now for Jonathan to win. His concession is the first by a ruling Nigerian president since the country's independence from the United Kingdom in 1960. Buhari, himself the former leader of a military coup which ruled Nigeria from 1983 to 1985, had previously lost against Jonathan in the 2011 election.

Buhari's party - the All People's Congress - also controls the legislative branch of government, ending the national dominance of Jonathan's People's Democratic Party, which had been the main political force in Nigerian politics since 1999.

International observers have generally been satisfied about the election's fairness, and fears of a return to the conflict that saw 800 people killed during the 2011 presidential have largely been unfounded, though there have been some allegations of fraud. Jonathan, a zoologist before he entered politics, was appointed vice-president in 2007, and assumed the presidency in 2010 after his predecessor, Umaru Yar'Adua, fell ill and subsequently died while in office.

 

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Britain is running out of allies as it squares up to Russia

For whatever reason, Donald Trump is going to be no friend of an anti-Russia foreign policy.

The row over Donald Trump and that dossier rumbles on.

Nothing puts legs on a story like a domestic angle, and that the retired spy who compiled the file is a one of our own has excited Britain’s headline writers. The man in question, Christopher Steele, has gone to ground having told his neighbour to look after his cats before vanishing.

Although the dossier contains known errors, Steele is regarded in the intelligence community as a serious operator not known for passing on unsubstantiated rumours, which is one reason why American intelligence is investigating the claims.

“Britain's role in Trump dossier” is the Telegraph’s splash, “The ‘credible’ ex-MI6 man behind Trump Russia report” is the Guardian’s angle, “British spy in hiding” is the i’s splash.

But it’s not only British headline writers who are exercised by Mr Steele; the Russian government is too. “MI6 officers are never ex,” the Russian Embassy tweeted, accusing the UK of “briefing both ways - against Russia and US President”. “Kremlin blames Britain for Trump sex storm” is the Mail’s splash.

Elsewhere, Crispin Blunt, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, warns that relations between the United Kingdom and Russia are as “bad as they can get” in peacetime.

Though much of the coverage of the Trump dossier has focused on the eyecatching claims about whether or not the President-Elect was caught in a Russian honeytrap, the important thing, as I said yesterday, is that the man who is seven days from becoming President of the United States, whether through inclination or intimidation, is not going to be a reliable friend of the United Kingdom against Russia.

Though Emanuel Macron might just sneak into the second round of the French presidency, it still looks likely that the final choice for French voters will be an all-Russia affair, between Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen.

For one reason or another, Britain’s stand against Russia looks likely to be very lonely indeed.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.