EU Seeks Credible Elections

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EU
Seeks Credible Elections

By Oyindamola Adebisi

The Chief Observer, European Union Election Observation
Mission (EU EOM), Maria Arena, has urged INEC, security agencies and other
election stakeholders to maintain a high level of transparency and accountability
in the upcoming elections.

Arena who is also a Member of the European Parliament from Belgium made the
call in Abuja  during the launch of EU
Election Observation Mission to Nigeria .

” Transparency and accountability of all the institutions involved in the
elections are absolutely essential for public trust and confidence in the
process.

“Thus, we hope that INEC and also the security forces will provide clear
real-time information on what they are doing and actions they’ve taken. INEC and
the security forces need to be seen to work neutrally in all their actions from
the leadership down,” Arena said.

She expressed hope that the state agencies and political parties will cooperate
to promoting a fair and peaceful process before, during and after the
elections.

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“This means working with integrity for the sake of the nation, and promoting a
calm response to any problems or frustrations,” she said.

The Chief Observer disclosed that in addition to the EU EOM’s core team and 40
long term observers, the mission will be joined over the election days by a
delegation of seven Members of the European Parliament, as well as diplomats
from EU member state embassies in Nigeria, Canada, Norway and Switzerland.

“We will assess the electoral process against Nigeria’s laws and
international commitments in relation to democratic elections. We are here with
a team of 11 election experts in Abuja, and 40 experienced long-term observers,
who are  deployed around the country to
cover all states,” said the Chief Observer.

The EU EOM head of mission also highlighted the importance of civil society
organisations in the electoral process, describing them as indispensable in
increasing the transparency and credibility of the process, and in advocating
for electoral improvements.

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She assured that the EU observers will adhere to the code of conduct for
international election observation that requires they maintain strict
neutrality and impartiality in the course of their work without interfering in
the electoral process.

“After both election days, the mission will issue a preliminary statement.
A more comprehensive final report, including recommendations to improve future
elections, will be published approximately two months after the end of the
electoral process,” she disclosed.

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