EU Election Mission: Only FoI’s Passage Met Our Recommendations After 2011 Polls

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The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) to Nigeria for the general election has state that of all its recommendations related to change in electoral legislation following the 2011 general electios, only the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act recommendation was implemented and signed into law.
Some other recommendations related to the work of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the political parties and participation of women.
This is as the body disclosed that its budget for the current election mission is €4.4 million.

The budget covers security, specialists, stay of all observers including those who would stay to observe the early stages of the election petitions, and other logistics.
The EUEOM Deputy Chief Observer, Ms. Hannah Roberts, speaking at a breakfast meeting with the media in Abuja on Wednesday, reiterated that observers do not interfere with the electoral process in anyway.

She added that the mission was already collating information from its long term observers who have been on ground in different states and would release a preliminary statement two days after the elections have been conducted.

“Its just as important how ballots are counted as how they are cast, so it is critical that observers are looking at not just the voting, but also the counting and the collation. We would try and do that as much as possible, but we have some limitations as regards security, we would also be here the following day in case there is any re-polling, and we would be following the collation process in the days after election. We would also be here for the second election for governors and Houses of Assembly.  Again, our presence in polling stations would be limited because of our numbers, but citizen observers would be out in greater numbers,” Roberts added.

She explained that using the established methodology set  by the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, the assessment would consider adherence to national legislation and international instruments which Nigeria is signatory to, she added.

Roberts said the mission is looking to see how INEC would deliver on its huge responsibility of ensuring credible polls.

“We are not in position to make conclusions at this stage, we have to see how things work out in practice. We have met with the INEC Chairman and we know that they are in a difficult position, it is a hard country and this is a tough election with such strong competition,” she said.

THISDAY gathered that the mission would have about 95 observers deployed for the presidential election.

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