What Buhari govt, INEC, others must do before 2019 elections – Foreign institutes - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Friday, July 20, 2018

What Buhari govt, INEC, others must do before 2019 elections – Foreign institutes

The International Republican Institute, IRI, and the National Democratic Institute, NDI, which observed the voting process in the recently-conducted gubernatorial election in Ekiti state, Friday opened up on what needs to be done by the Federal Government, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and political parties for Nigeria to have improved elections next year.

They came up with these recommendations after a delegation from both institutes visited Nigeria from July 12 to July 20, 2018 to assess the current political and electoral environment in the build-up to the 2019 elections, assess preparations for the general elections as well as demonstrate international support for Nigeria’s democratization process.

The delegation, which met with senior officials of INEC, leaders of political parties, civic organisations, representatives of the media, and senior government officials, produced a report on what stakeholders including the civil society, media and the international community need to do ahead of the next general elections in Nigeria.

The joint pre-election assessment mission led by Dr Pauline Baker has Christopher Fomunyoh, Terry Tselane and Jan Surotchak, among others as members. DAILY POST reports that they presented their findings and recommendations at a press conference in Abuja.

They tasked the federal government to before the elections intensify efforts to address insecurity in many parts of the country, and impress it on all security agencies to be professional and impartial in guaranteeing election security for all citizens and political candidates.

While calling on government to enforce the law pertaining to the buying of votes on election day, IRI-NDI tasked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to “ensure sufficient time for INEC to implement electoral changes by signing into law the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill before August 16, in accordance with the ECOWAS protocol to which Nigeria is a signatory”.

They also demanded the establishment of “Electoral Offenses and Political Parties Registration Commission as soon as possible to enhance the accountability of political parties with regards to the funding of campaigns and other activities”.

For INEC, the international institutes, which have organised over 200 international election observation missions across the globe, called for increased efforts to encourage voters to register before the closure of continuous voter registration on August 17.

While tasking the electoral umpire to “undertake an extensive campaign to raise voter awareness on the need to collect PVCs before the next elections”, they called on INEC to “pursue technological advances that could allow for the issuance of PVCs upon registration”.

In the case of political parties, IRI-NDI canvased the conduct of transparent and democratic primaries that adhere to the parties’ by-laws and policies, urging them to “initiate issue-based campaigns that address national priorities, such as security, the economy, and governance.”

The organisations also called for “respect (of) the rule of law, including INEC guidelines for political parties, especially provisions against the use of violence and of speech that could incite violence.”

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