A joint United States observer mission said on Monday that the week-long delay in holding Nigeria’s presidential election, which took place on Saturday, probably hurt voter turnout.

“It is highly probable that such a late postponement had negative effects on voter turnout,” John Tomaszewski, of the U.S. National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute delegation, told reporters.

“More significantly, the delay also undermined public confidence in INEC,” he said, referring to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

As many as 39 people have been killed in election violence, civil society groups said on Sunday.

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The Situation Room - which represents more than 70 civil society groups - reported 39 deaths after Saturday’s vote.

In previous elections, the death toll has been higher, but most unrest typically occurs after results are announced.

“Since beginning of campaigns in October 2018, more than 260 politically motivated deaths,” Clement Nwankwo, convener of the Situation Room, which had 9,000 observers, told reporters.

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