FACTBOX-Key political risks to watch in Nigeria

Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:12pm GMT

By Ed Cropley

LAGOS, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Nigerian elections scheduled for January are almost certain to be pushed back three months to allow organisers more time to prepare, a delay presented as a way to reduce the chaos that has typified previous polls.

However, the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), which has been in charge since the army left power in 1999, is split over its nomination for president, making the race to secure the party ticket more hotly contested than ever before.

President Goodluck Jonathan has put himself forward, but faces opposition from some quarters because of an unwritten PDP agreement that power rotates between the Muslim north and Christian south every two terms.

Under the deal, the next term should go to a northerner but Jonathan is a southerner. [ID:nLDE66Q1EY]

Whether Jonathan secures the PDP ticket -- tantamount to winning the election given his party's electoral dominance -- could have implications for security in the restive Niger Delta oil-producing region and parts of the Muslim north.

It could also affect the passage of key pieces of legislation, including reforms to the energy industry.

Following are some of the factors to watch:


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