Why INEC Should Accept EU Election Observations

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said the European Union Election Observation Mission’s final report on Nigeria’s general election is unfair.

Development Diaries reports that the EU mission in Nigeria on Tuesday said the elections exposed enduring systemic weaknesses that need to be corrected.

According to the chief observer, Barry Andrews, the report was based on the analysis of compliance with Nigeria’s regional and international commitments for democratic elections.

It listed six priority areas that INEC needs to work on, one of which is the electoral body’s failure to upload results.

In its response, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the glitch in downloading the presidential election results was not enough ground to judge the electoral body’s performance.

‘It is not fair to judge the entire performance of the commission on the basis of a glitch in the result upload for the presidential election’, he said in a television interview.

Observers from civil society organisations (CSOs), including Yiaga Africa, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, and Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), had listed certain setbacks that hindered the overall success of the polls.

Overall, a combination of violence, vote buying, online and offline intimidation of voters, disinformation and decreased citizens’ trust in INEC was recorded before, during and after the elections.

The poor performance of INEC has severely impacted public confidence in the electoral process and it would require extraordinary efforts for trust to be re-established.

Development Diaries urges the electoral commission to take in good faith the observations and criticisms and work to deliver improved performance in future elections.


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