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Episode 51: Nigeria’s Election Race and Syriza’s Election Romp

Good evening, listeners! We have an excellent episode for you this week as the Council on Foreign Relation’s Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa policy studies and former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell returns to the show to discuss the latest news in the West African country, while Hudson Institute research fellow Benjamin Haddad makes his first appearance to examine the broader implications of Syriza’s landslide win in Greece’s elections over the weekend.

First, Ambassador Campbell looks at the likelihood of an election defeat in the cards for President Goodluck Jonathan in the face of falling oil prices and the rise of Boko Haram. He points out that the election is now a genuine race in Nigeria, despite the fact that since the restoration of civilian government in 1999 no incumbent president has been defeated.

He speaks on the credentials of the opposition candidate, General Muhammad Buhari, before moving to Secretary Kerry’s visit to Nigeria over the weekend.

Then, Benjamin Haddad talks about what Syriza’s big election win might mean for the country’s foreign policy. He says that this signals a shift closer to Russia, aligned with an anti-EU worldview. He argues that Syriza’s first priority will be renegotiating bailout packages and focusing on anti-austerity measures, but also discusses the problems this new government could make for EU-wide policy, especially regarding new rounds of sanctions against Russia.

He discusses the connections Syriza has with extremist parties around Europe, and remarks on the irony—pointed out by our own WRM—of anti-EU political parties fomenting a kind of pan-European politics.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and follow our host Richard Aldous @RJAldous, Ambassador Campbell @JohnCampbellcfr, and Benjamin Haddad @benjaminhaddad on Twitter.

Published on: January 27, 2015
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