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Nigeria lawmakers vote to make VP acting president

Nigeria’s parliament today voted to hand Vice President Goodluck Jonathan the powers of president, a move intended to fill the vacuum left by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua's hospitalization in November.

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In this May 29, 2007 file photo, Nigerian vice President Goodluck Jonathan (center) stands with President Umaru Yar'Adua (right) and former President Olusegun Obasanjo. On Tuesday, Nigeria's parliament made Jonathan acting president.

George Osodi/AP/File

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Nigeria’s Senate and House of Representatives today voted to give Vice President Goodluck Jonathan the powers of president, a move aimed at ending a 2 1/2-month political crisis that has sparked unease across Africa's most populous nation.

The measures set the stage for the temporary transfer of power from President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who has been undergoing medical treatment in Saudi Arabia since late November.

The power vacuum during Mr. Yar'Adua's absense has imposed a heavy cost on America's No. 3 oil supplier. Since he's been gone, Muslim-Christian riots killed scores in the country’s northern region, a young Nigerian man attempted to blow up a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day, and rebels from the country's oil-rich Niger Delta pulled out of a landmark peace deal citing lack of government attention.

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