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Former Ethiopian PM To Head AU Election Mission In Nigeria

Former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will lead an African Union (AU) election observation mission to observe Nigeria's upcoming general elections, an AU official said.

Addressing a press conference at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs Minata Samate Cessouma said Desalegn would head an AU election observation mission to observe the general election in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation.

"Nigeria is a very important country for the whole of Africa, in terms of population and economy. We don't need any conflict resulting from the election. All partners including the AU will work together to ensure free, fair and democratic elections are held in Nigeria," said Cessouma.

Nigeria will hold this year's general elections on Feb. 16 to elect the president and national assembly members, and on March 2 to elect state governors and state houses of assembly members.

In January, the Nigeria Independent National Electoral Commission announced that more than 84 million Nigerians had registered to vote in the general election, representing about 42 percent of the country's population.