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High Hurdles Set Up For Nigeria Opposition

Political aspirants will have to register at least 1.2 million supporters and pay $24,000 in fees in order to participate in Nigeria’s national elections, the military government announced Monday.

The requirements would block most opposition groups from registering: The registration fee is about 25 times an average annual salary in Nigeria and parties will have to meet the guidelines by July 25.

No date has been set for the elections.

Military ruler Gen. Sani Abacha has harshly suppressed opposition groups since he seized power in a November 1993 coup.

Few opposition groups have been able to mount organized campaigns, much less sign up members, for fear of being banned.

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