Nigeria’s ruling political party says its next candidate for president must be from the Muslim north.

The head of the People’s Democratic Party announced late Tuesday that the party will block the nation’s acting president, a Christian from the south, from seeking the office. Goodluck Jonathan took over the presidency after the National Assembly voted him into office during the three-month absence of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Yar’Adua, from the Muslim north, has yet to be seen in the nation since his return last week. He was hospitalized at a Saudi Arabian hospital as he recuperated from what his physician described as acute pericarditis, an inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart.

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