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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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

The world shared a stunned silence when news broke that Boris Johnson would be the new Foreign Secretary. Johnson, who once referred to black people as “piccaninnies” and more recently accused the half-Kenyan President of the United States of only commenting on the EU referendum because of bitterness about colonialism, will now be Britain’s representative on the world stage.

His colourful career immediately came back to haunt him when US journalists accused him of “outright lies” and reminded him of the time he likened Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to a “sadistic nurse”. Johnson’s previous appearances on the international stage include a speech in Beijing where he maintained that ping pong was actually the Victorian game of “whiff whaff”.

But Johnson has always been more than a blond buffoon, and this appointment is a shrewd one by May. His popularity in the country at large, apparently helped by getting stuck on a zip line and having numerous affairs, made him an obvious threat to David Cameron’s premiership. His decision to defect to the Leave campaign was widely credited with bringing it success. He canned his leadership campaign after Michael Gove launched his own bid, but the question of whether his chutzpah would beat May’s experience and gravity is still unknown.

In giving BoJo the Foreign Office, then, May hands him the photo opportunities he craves. Meanwhile, the man with real power in international affairs will be David Davis, who as Brexit minister has the far more daunting task of renegotiating Britain’s trade deals.